The Supernatural in Society, Culture, and History
I’m glad to say I am a contributing author to a new sociological study of paranormal topics titled The Supernatural in Society, Culture, and History. It’s a book “demonstrating the value of serious academic inquiry into supernatural beliefs and practices—from ghosts, vampirism, cryptozoology, and dark tourism to tarot cards, fortunetelling, voodoo, and alien abduction.” Sounds pretty groovy to me. It will be out in July from Temple University Press. The anthology is edited by professor Dennis Waskul of Minnesota State University and professor Marc Eaton of Ripon College. I’d like to thank them for their infinite patience in helping edit my contribution (Chapter 10: Cryptozoology: The Hunt for Hidden Animals and Monsters) into a coherent, well sourced study. This is my first bit of writing that’s less man-on-the-street and more man-in-a-tweed-coat-with-elbow-patches-smoking-a-pipe-in-a-library. I’m excited to see the published book this summer!
More book info from the publisher:
In the twenty-first century, as in centuries past, stories of the supernatural thrill and terrify us. But despite their popularity, scholars often dismiss such beliefs in the uncanny as inconsequential, or even embarrassing. The editors and contributors to The Supernatural in Society, Culture, and History have made a concerted effort to understand encounters with ghosts and the supernatural that have remain present and flourished. Featuring folkloric researchers examining the cultural value of such beliefs and practices, sociologists who acknowledge the social and historical value of the supernatural, and enthusiasts of the mystical and uncanny, this volume includes a variety of experts and interested observers using first-hand ethnographic experiences and historical records.
The Supernatural in Society, Culture, and History seeks to understand the socio-cultural and socio-historical contexts of the supernatural. This volume takes the supernatural as real because belief in it has fundamentally shaped human history. It continues to inform people’s interpretations, actions, and identities on a daily basis. The supernatural is an indelible part of our social world that deserves sincere scholarly attention.
Contributors include: Janet Baldwin, I’Nasah Crockett, William Ryan Force, Rachael Ironside, Tea Krulos, Joseph Laycock, Stephen L. Muzzatti, Scott Scribner, Emma Smith, Jeannie Banks Thomas, and the editors.