It’s not quite an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, but for Samuel Gillis Hogan, it’s the next best thing.
After a lifelong passion for the supernatural, Gillis Hogan of Wolfville, N.S., has been awarded a prestigious fellowship to study the history of magic in England.
As this year’s recipient of the Rothermere Fellowship — valued at roughly $29,000 per year for living expenses, plus university fees — Gillis Hogan will head to the University of Exeter in September to begin a PhD studying late medieval and early modern manuscripts on how to summon fairy spirits.
He says many scholars have written about summoning demons and angels, but fairy-conjuring spells haven’t gotten a lot of attention in the world of magic academia.
Gillis Hogan says he’s drawn to the history of magic because it’s a field of study that connects a variety of other topics like philosophy, science, medicine, and religion — areas of thought that weren’t necessarily divided up into different categories in the olden days like they are now.
He adds that studying the magic that people used to believe in offers us an intimate look into how they understood the world to work.
The Canadian Press