Sabina Magliocco, Ph.D.
(Prof. of Anthropology & Folklore, CSU Northridge)
4.3 – The Greys (2.24.12)
4.7 – Aliens & Bigfoot (3.23.12)
5.2 – Aliens & Cover-Ups (12.28.12)
5.6 – Secrets of the Tombs (1.25.13)
5.9 – Strange Abductions (2.22.13)
5.13 – The Power of Three (9.30.13)
5.14 – The Crystal Skulls (10.7.13)
5.16 – Magic of the Gods (10.21.13)
5.18 – Alien Creations (11.1.13)
5.20 – Mysterious Relics (11.15.13)
6.1 – Aliens & Forbidden Islands (11.29.13)
6.3 – Aliens & Mysterious Mountains (12.13.13)
6.4 – Aliens & Stargates (1.24.14)
6.9 – The Shamans (2.28.14)
6.10 – Aliens & Insects (3.7.14)
6.11 – Alien Breeders (3.14.14)
6.16 – The Reptilians (7.25.14)
6.18 – The God Particle (8.15.14)
6.19 – Alien Encounters (8.15.14)
6.20 – Aliens & Superheroes (8.22.14)
7.3 – Aliens Among Us (11.14.14)
7.4 – The Genius Factor (11.21.14)
7.8 – The Great Flood (12.23.14)
7.12 – The Alien Agenda (5.1.15)
8.4 – Dark Forces (8.14.15)
8.6 – The Other Earth (9.28.15)
9.4 – The New Evidence (5.27.16)
9.6 – Decoding the Cosmic Egg (6.17.16)
Sabina Magliocco (born December 30, 1959), is a professor of Anthropology and Religion at the University of British Columbia and formerly at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She is an author of non-fiction books and journal articles about folklore, religion, religious festivals, foodways, witchcraft and Neo-Paganism in Europe and the United States.
A recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright Program and Hewlett Foundation, Magliocco is an honorary fellow of the American Folklore Society. From 2004 to 2009, she served as editor of Western Folklore, the quarterly journal of the Western States Folklore Society. At CSUN, she was faculty advisor for the CSUN Cat People, an organization dedicated to humane population control and maintenance of feral cats on the university’s campus.
Magliocco was born December 30, 1959, in Topeka, Kansas, the daughter of Italian immigrants. Her father first arrived in the USA in 1953 on a Fulbright Fellowship specializing in psychiatry and neurology. Her mother joined him after they were married in 1958. From 1960 to 1976, her family spent summers living in Italy, specifically Rome, San Felice Circeo, Lazio and Castiglione della Pescaia, Tuscany. Her family moved from Topeka to Cincinnati in 1966, where Magliocco graduated from Walnut Hills High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) in 1977.
She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, at Providence, Rhode Island, in 1980 with a BA in Anthropology. At Indiana University’s Folklore Institute, Bloomington, Indiana, she received her MA (1983) and Ph.D. (1988) in Folklore, with a minor in Anthropology.
After working on post-doctoral research in Italy with a Fulbright fellowship in 1989, Magliocco began her career teaching classes in Folklore and Anthropology. From 1990 to 1994, she taught at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her other teaching positions have included UCLA (1994), UC Santa Barbara (1995), UC Berkeley (1995–1997), and her current position at California State University, Northridge, where she taught from 1997-2017. She became the chair of the Department of Anthropology at Northridge in 2007. In 2017 she joined the Anthropology Department at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where she is Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology. Her teaching and research focuses on ritual, festival and religion; folklore and expressive culture (narrative and belief, vernacular healing, material culture); magic and witchcraft; modern Pagan religions; narrative; ethnic/regional/national identity issues; gender; cultural studies and critical theory; animal studies; and ethnographic methodology and writing.
Fieldwork and research interests
Magliocco did fieldwork in northwestern Sardinia (Italy) during the 1980s, studying the effect of socio-economic transformation on the traditional festivals of a pastoral highland community. The Two Madonnas and Le due Marie di Bessude were the result of this research. Magliocco’s studies of contemporary Neopagans in the San Francisco Bay Area provided the subject material for Witching Culture and Neo-Pagan Sacred Art and Altars. In Cornwall, England, her fieldwork on the Padstow May Day celebration was used to produce Oss Tales. Magliocco is currently working on a project based on traditional healing practices in Italy.
She has written several journal articles that have had significant impact on modern scholarship about witchcraft and the USA revival of Italian-American Stregheria. Magliocco is an initiate of Gardnerian Wicca.
From 2012 to 2014, Magliocco made appearances on 17 episodes of the History Channel series, Ancient Aliens, as a commentator speaking about folkloric concepts related to the theme of each episode. She also appeared as a commentator on three episodes of the Scary Tales television series in 2011. 
Taking the reader into the heart of one of the fastest-growing religious movements in North America, Sabina Magliocco reveals how the disciplines of anthropology and folklore were fundamental to the early development of Neo-Paganism and the revival of witchcraft. Magliocco examines the roots that this religious movement has in a Western spiritual tradition of mysticism disavowed by the Enlightenment. She explores, too, how modern Pagans and Witches are imaginatively reclaiming discarded practices and beliefs to create religions more in keeping with their personal experience of the world as sacred and filled with meaning. Neo-Pagan religions focus on experience, rather than belief, and many contemporary practitioners have had mystical experiences. They seek a context that normalizes them and creates in them new spiritual dimensions that involve change in ordinary consciousness.
Magliocco analyzes magical practices and rituals of Neo-Paganism as art forms that reanimate the cosmos and stimulate the imagination of its practitioners. She discusses rituals that are put together using materials from a variety of cultural and historical sources, and examines the cultural politics surrounding the movement—how the Neo-Pagan movement creates identity by contrasting itself against the dominant culture and how it can be understood in the context of early twenty-first-century identity politics.
Witching Culture is the first ethnography of this religious movement to focus specifically on the role of anthropology and folklore in its formation, on experiences that are central to its practice, and on what it reveals about identity and belief in twenty-first-century North America.