Allan Slaight Chair for the Study of the Conjuring Arts


Carleton University

Presentation text

Endowed by the Slaight Family Foundation with a $2 million matched leadership gift, this Chair reflects Allan Slaight’s lifelong dedication to, intellectual interest in, and scholarship on magic. Areas of research related to the conjuring arts include psychology, history, literature, communication, media, religious studies, and theatre. Focusing on perception, illusion, deception, influence, and the history of magic, the study of the conjuring arts is an evolving area that represents a respected and growing academic area of study. This is a ground-breaking and exciting opportunity to develop a new interdisciplinary academic programme and centre for multidisciplinary approaches to the study of magic and the conjuring arts.

With a PhD in a relevant arts or social sciences discipline, the Chair will have a record of teaching and research strength, with evidence of an interdisciplinary and innovative approach in any area related to magic and the conjuring arts. This includes: enchantment; wonder and the uncanny; alchemy; magical realism; healing and spiritualism; the performing body; magic and the mind; magic and the psychology of deception, persuasion and suggestion; the psychology of magical beliefs and magical thinking; magic and colonialism; magic and modernity; history, science and technology; connections between magic, cinema, theatre, gaming, and other media; intersections of feminism, witchcraft, and resistance; and practices of black, South Asian, Indigenous, queer, and trans people, and people of colour.

The successful candidate will have a strong commitment to education and outreach, the ability to collaborate across disciplines, and the skills and reputation to build a world-class academic programme and centre. With funding available for research, travel, visiting scholars, conferences, and student support, the Chair will be capable of placing Carleton at the forefront of this dynamic area of education and research and will also play a leading role in developing Carleton’s strengths as a unique international resource for collections and artifacts related to magic. This is an open-rank faculty position, with the successful candidate appointed to a tenured or tenure-track faculty position, as appropriate, within a relevant department of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). The Chair is for a five-year renewable term.

Located in Ottawa, Carleton University ( is a dynamic and innovative research and teaching institution with over 29,000 students, 950 academic faculty, 2000 staff, and more than 100 programmes of study. FASS offers 30 areas of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels and encompasses 16 departments, colleges, and schools, as well as the Carleton University Art Gallery.

A multidisciplinary search committee will begin consideration of candidates immediately and will continue until the role is successfully filled. Applications should include a letter of interest outlining a vision for the programme and centre, curriculum vitae and the names of three references (who will not be contacted without the consent of the candidate), and be submitted electronically, as one PDF file, in confidence, to:

Laverne Smith & Associates Inc.


Presentation file

Attached documents