TNI Vol. 21: Witches

This month, The New Inquiry dives head-first into the feminine occult with our October theme: witches. For only $2, you can subscribe and get your copy Today. Until then, here's a preview of what's in store.

When the good witch and bad witch are one witch named Nicole Kidman, the moral coordinates take a back seat to the Hollywood narrative. When movies introduce shades of gray to sorceress moral binary, it's to shrink her down to size, small enough to fit in a home...

Durga Chew-Bose on
cinema's housewife witches


Glamour began quite literally with magic. Growing from the Scottish gramarye around 1720, glamer was a sort of spell that would affect the eyesight of those afflicted, so that objects appear different than they actually are...

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano
on the dark art of glamour


There is another history of the subgenre that remembers why anyone liked it in the first place. It points to the most interesting acts — the subterranean ones who linger with pop and hip hop tracks to shade in the longing gathered beneath their slick surfaces...

Nic Cavell on the short-lived
electronic subgenre Witch House


History tells of love charms and philters, all promising to corral wayward objects of affection. Kings and queens used them, as did scullery maids and postal clerks. These charms were uniformly bizarre, involving apple pips pasted to foreheads and garters tied in knots...

Christine Baumgarthuber on love
potion number 19th century


A cartoonish figure with a broad, moon-shaped face, a black shovel hat, and a flowing cape, he seemed to come from some other era. He had a high-pitched voice and a strange chuckle;  friends and colleagues wondered if he was, in fact, in league with the devil...

Colin Dickey on Reverend Montague
Summers, Europe's last witch hunter


She told me of her business advice and relationship counseling, of love magic and break-up magic, and of training to control jinn and ordering hits on adversaries. More than anything, she told me of her strategies — both magical and ordinary — for winning the hearts of wealthy men...

Alireza Doostdar on
self-help sorcery in Iran


The Craft was a major pop phenomenon that trended, in a time before “online,” through clothes, books, and other RL rituals. For well over a year my First Avenue Public School in Ottawa, Ontario was filled with little witches...

Fiona Duncan compiles
an oral history of The Craft


The historical syncretism of Latin American Catholicism as it is practiced by millions carves out  a space of casual permissibility of churchgoers’ extracurricular spiritual activities. Some continue to frequent the botanicas even as they continue to worship in their disapproving churches...

Karla Cornejo Villavicencio on
the storefront supernatural


In 2007, the feminist organization of the Communist Party issued a proclamation on the growing numbers  of women delaying or foregoing marriage, in favor of focusing on their education and careers. They coined a term, and the Ministry of Education added it to their official lexicon...

Moira Weigel on urban
China's "leftover women"


We'll have all that plus Stephanie Bernhard's review of Laura van den Berg's Isle of Youth, beautiful illustrations by Imp Kerr, the newest installment of Michael Seidenberg's "Unsolicited Advice for The End Times" column, and the debut of the New Inquiry crossword puzzle edited by Jonathan Zalman. All for just $2.