Sensing Materiality in the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic


  • Helen Cornish Goldsmiths



Museums, magical consciousness, senses, contemporary witchcraft, historicity


It might be expected that practitioners of contemporary magico-religious traditions consider they have a special relationship with the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall. In this ethnographic article I examine how visiting practitioners in search of familiarity and authority approach the collection in a sensory and emotional manner that generates dialogic relationships between people, places, and things. While much museological debate acknowledges dynamic relationships between people and things, for contemporary witches these objects are literally alive in an inspirited world. This has a bearing on how they apprehend the museum as a space for multiple forms of engagement.

Author Biography

Helen Cornish, Goldsmiths

Helen Cornish is a research fellow in the Anthropology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London.


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How to Cite

Cornish, H. . (2022). Sensing Materiality in the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic. Pomegranate, 23(1-2), 10–33.