Thursday, August 2, 2018

My New Book


This is my new book, The Cultic Life of Trees in the Prehistoric Aegean, Levant, Egypt and Cyprus. Published by Peeters: Leuven.  It is 314 pages, and its dimensions are 30 cm x 21 cm.

Summary:
This research examines 44 images of Minoan tree cult as depicted in sphragistic jewellery, portable objects and wall paintings from Late Bronze Age Crete, mainland Greece and the Cyclades. The study also compares the Aegean images with evidence for sacred trees in the Middle and Late Bronze Age Levant, Egypt and Cyprus. The purpose of this investigation is the production of new interpretations of Minoan images of tree cult. Each of the chapters of the book looks at both archaeological and iconographic evidence for tree cult. The Aegean material is, in addition, examined more deeply through the lenses of modified Lacanian psychoanalytic modelling, “new” animism, ethnographic analogy, and a Neo-Marxist hermeneutics of suspicion. It is determined that Minoan images of tree cult depict elite figures performing their intimate association with the numinous landscape through the communicative method of envisioned and enacted epiphanic ritual. The tree in such images is a physiomorphic representation of a goddess type known in the wider eastern Mediterranean associated with effective rulership and with the additional qualities of fertility, nurturance, protection, regeneration, order and stability. The representation of this deity by elite human females in ritual performance functioned to enhance their self representation as divinities and thus legitimise and concretise the position of elites within the hegemonic structure of Neopalatial Crete. These ideological visual messages were circulated to a wider audience through the reproduction and dispersal characteristic of the sphragistic process, resulting in Minoan elites literally stamping their authority on to the Cretan landscape and hence society.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

CFP for a special issue of The Pomegranate on Pagan Art and Fashion


A beautiful young woman drapes her long auburn hair over a human skull, pressing it close to her face like a lover. Another, clad in black and holding a wooden staff, poses like a model in a photo shoot on location in an incongruous forest. Long, elaborately decorated fake fingernails like talons grasp shiny crystals, evoking the “just so” beauty of a staged magazine spread. In the world of the Witches of Instagram, the art of photography meets business witchery and feminist activism.
Is it (still) the season of the witch? Luxury fashion house, Dior, has a tarot-themed collection; witchcraft featured in recent issues of Vogue magazine; young witch-identifying women perform “fashion magic”; and an alchemist-fashion designer has invented colour-changing hair dye, inspired by a scene in the 1996 movie, The Craft. An angry yet luxurious sex-positive feminism is in the air; goddesses, witches and sluts are rising up again, a decade and a half after Rockbitch stopped touring and almost thirty years after Annie Sprinkle’s first workshops celebrating the sacred whore.
Exhibitions showcasing the work of living and dead occult artists have been on the increase for several years now, most recently Black Light: Secret Traditions in Art Since the 1950s at the Centre de Cultura Contempor├ánia de Barcelona, and Barry William Hale + NOKO’s Enochian performance at Dark Mofo in Tasmania. Multidisciplinary artist Bill Crisafi and dancer Alkistis Dimech exemplify the Sabbatic witchcraft aesthetic; Russ Marshalek and Vanessa Irena mix fitness and music with witchcraft in the age of the apocalypse; DJ Juliana Huxtable and queer arts collective House of Ladosha are a coven; rappers Azealia Banks and Princess Nokia are out and proud brujas; and singer Lana del Rey admits hexing Donald Trump.
The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies invites submissions of articles (5000–8000 words) for a special issue on Pagan Art and Fashion, edited by Caroline Tully (caroline.tully@unimelb.edu.au). How are Paganism, modern Goddess worship, witchcraft and magick utilised in the service of creative self-expression today? Potential topics might fall under the general headings of, but are not limited to, Aesthetics, Dance, Fashion, Film and Television, Internet Culture, Literature, Music, and Visual Art.
Submissions due June 15, 2019. 
Click for the for information on the submission process
Please note that The Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies uses the University of Chicago Press notes-and-bibliography citation style.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Trees as Otherkin: Minoan Crete, Biblical Religion and Paganism Today

I've got a new article coming out in the next issue of Witches & Pagans Magazine #35 called "Trees as Otherkin: Minoan Crete, Biblical Religion and Paganism Today." This article derives from my PhD research on Tree Cult in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean from the Bronze to Iron Ages. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

New Roman Films for Decadence and Domesticity Exhibition.


As of the week starting 2 October, we'll be screening a montage of three black and white Roman-themed films in the Decadence and Domesticity exhibition: The Last Days of Pompeii (1913); Caius Julius Caesar (1914); and Messalina (1924). They are all FAB! 
The antiquities exhibition, Decadence and Domesticity, is part of The Arts of Engagement exhibition and is located on the ground floor of the Arts West Building at the University of Melbourne. It runs until 23 October 2017.