Texas Tech University has announced they will offer a course called ”Witches, Bruxas, & Black Magic.”
The course is described as introducing the “study of beliefs and practices, past and present, associated with magic, witchcraft, spirituality, magic realism, and religion.”
Topics discussed will include “ritual, symbolism, mythology, altered states of consciousness, and healing as well as syncretism, change, and the social roles of these beliefs and practices.”
Texas Tech isn’t the only public Texas university offering courses in witchcraft.
Most courses are classified under universities’ women’s and gender studies colleges.
“In Defense of Witches,” a book commonly used in women’s and gender studies courses, argues that the history of witches relates to the women’s empowerment movement—particularly for unmarried, childless, and sexually promiscuous females. The book claims that modern-day witches “take part in the Black Lives Matter movement, put spells on Donald Trump, protest against white supremacists and against those who question a woman’s right to abortion.”
The Dallas Observer interviewed Dr. Susan Harper, a self-proclaimed “feminist witch” and UNT anthropology graduate with a special interest in pagan studies. Harper has worked on merging ritual magic with activism and described “practicing ritual magic to send energy and support to women advocating for abortion rights.”
Harper also became a graduate reader for Texas Woman’s University, where she edited and guided graduate students in writing their dissertations.
Senate Bill 19 was proposed by State Sen. Joan Huffman, (R–Houston) to create a Texas University Fund to support research at public universities. The endowment would fund additional universities like Texas Tech, UNT, Texas State University, and others. Before, only the Texas A&M System and University of Texas System were funded through the Texas Permanent University Fund.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 19 into law earlier this month, and the legislation will go into effect January 1, 2024.
While Abbott also signed Senate Bill 17, which will ban diversity, equity, and inclusion offices, the new funds from SB 19 may go to expanding course catalogs in women’s and gender studies.