Talk:Magic, Witchcraft and the Otherworld/GA1

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GA Review[edit]

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Reviewer: J Milburn (talk · contribs) 14:19, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Ok, I've been looking at this article long enough, I'll just go ahead and review it. Thoughts to follow soon. J Milburn (talk) 14:19, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

  • otherworld or Otherworld?
    • Well, the title has it capitalised, but that's because it is a title. The rest of Greenwood's text uses lower case, and I've tried to follow this throughout the article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 19:08, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
  • "Adopting Luhrmann's concept of "interpretative drift", she relates how she shifted her understanding of events to make sense of her magical experiences, however in contrast to Luhrmann's emphasis on how practitioners overcame their initial scepticism, Greenwood focuses on how these practitioners learn "the language of another mode of reality" through their experiences." This is a long sentence packed full of information. It could do with being broken down.
  • "High Magic, Wicca and Feminist Witchcraft" "High Magic" and "Feminist Witchcraft" are technical terms which go unexplained. Anywhere you could link?
    • "High magic" is a synonym for ceremonial magic, so we could link there. I don't think we have a Wikipedia article devoted to Feminist Wicca/Witchcraft; the closest thing is Dianic Wicca, which is a dominant current within the Feminist Witchcraft movement, but does not encompass the entire tradition itself. Midnightblueowl (talk) 19:00, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
  • "Disagreeing with Luhrmann's view on morality's place in the occult" What was Luhrmann's view?
  • I'm not keen on a "Main arguments" section which contains only one subsection. Is there another influential idea worth including? If not, perhaps just remove the subsection title? (You could also consider renaming it to "central claims"- not sure, just a thought.)
  • "Pagan belief that they can interact" Not great. How about "practitioners" or "believers"?
  • (Just to explain this edit- she's making a claim here that I know plenty of social scientists would not accept. When you write "as she relates", I worry you're implying that the claim is clearly accurate, which would create NPOV problems.)
  • While I was Googling around for other sources, I saw the work referred to a few times as "feminist". While you note that Greenwood's own religious beliefs are feminist, you don't mention that the book comes from a feminist perspective? Or do you feel that this is implied?
    • As far as I can recall, Greenwood doesn't explicitly state that her study is feminist in basis, it's more of an implied thing in the actual text. Midnightblueowl (talk)
  • "undertaken greater ethnography" Not clear what is meant here. There are also some odd tense-shifts in that paragraph.
  • "like Favret-Saada, Stoller, and E. Turner" and "Young and Goulet"- Any chance of full names?
  • The "Scarboro, Campbell and Stave 1994." footnote link doesn't work
  • I think I'd rather see more about the insider/outsider approach in the lead- this seems to be one of the most notable things about the work. Conversely, I think there are perhaps too many details about Greenwood's life which, while useful in the article, are not quite important enough to be in the lead.
  • There's no mention of Greenwood's other works in the main body of the article. If possible, perhaps consider a small "legacy" section? You could there talk about Greenwood's later works, as well as any later works from other authors influenced by/in opposition to Greenwood. (I appreciate that such a thing may be pretty difficult.)

I made a few edits- please double-check them. Really interesting stuff- how you've had to wait this long for a review is beyond me. Generally well-written, sources and images are good. J Milburn (talk) 15:01, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

These thoughts are general ones, and I'm happy to promote the article without these being acted upon. If you're thinking about FAC, though, do have a look.

  • The lead is a little long considering the length of the article.
  • I sometimes challenge (and have been challenged) concerning the "This is what reviewer x thought. This is what reviewer y thought." format of the reception section. It may be more useful to group thematically. That said, I like the way you've split the reviews into academic and non-academic.

I'd be inclined to wonder whether a blockquote from a scholarly review would be preferable- that these are more reliable sources is what I'm thinking.

As I say, general thoughts which don't need to be worked on before this is passed if you don't want to. J Milburn (talk) 15:01, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for this J! I admit that I was hoping somewhat that you might decide to review it, considering the interest that you have expressed in this and related subjects before. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:52, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Having another look through, copyediting as I go-

  • "Adopting Luhrmann's concept of "interpretative drift", she relates how she shifted her understanding of events to make sense of her magical experiences." Not clear what is meant here. Perhaps explain what is meant by "interpretative drift"? It's not a phrase I've come across.
  • "Adopting Susan Palmer's typologies," This is not so helpful, as readers probably will not know these typologies. Three possibilities: Explain the typologies, link to a Wikipedia article which explains them, or adjust to something like "Drawing upon the work of sociologist/anthropologist/whatever Susan Palmer...". I'd be inclined to go for the third option.
  • "She furthermore states that magicians see themselves as microcosms of the universal macrocosm.[16]" That line is a little opaque.
    • Hmm... have you got any suggestions for how this might be better phrased? I tend towards thinking it as clear as possible. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:31, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • When you say "magicians" in the "central arguments" section, do you mean ceremonial magicians? Or are you referring collectively to Occultists/esotericists?
    • I was referring to occultists/esotericists collectively who practice magic; I've tried to clarify that by stating "magicians and Pagan Witches". Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:34, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
      • In that case, there's nothing explicitly about ceremonial magicians in the core arguments section- you talk a lot about the relationship between Pagans and the otherworld, but not about the relationship between ceremonial magicians and the otherworld. J Milburn (talk) 15:39, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
        • What I mean to convey is that Pagans and ceremonial magicians both believe this (according to Greenwood anyway). I will double check in case I have this wrong, though. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:31, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
          • Okay, I just checked. She refers to western esotericists who practice magic generally; I've clarified the text to explain this. Thanks for pointing this out. Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:42, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Sometimes you use "Feminist Witchcraft", other times, "Feminist Witchcraft". Are you referring to the same thing?
    • I don't really understand what you mean here, J. If you meant to say that some are capitalised and others aren't, you're right, and that's an error on my behalf. I've capitalised them all now. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:24, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
      • That is what I meant- sorry! J Milburn (talk) 15:39, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm still seeing past/present tense jumps in the reception section- I made some changes, but reverted for fear that I was going against a system I can't perceive.
    • You're right; my silly mistake. I've put them all in present tense now. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:24, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

Almost there; I hope you don't mind me drilling it that bit further. I do think this article has FAC potential, and I'd love to see it pushed in that direction. Please double-check my most recent edits. J Milburn (talk) 16:10, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Of course I don't mind! In fact, a vigorous GA review is much appreciated, because it makes Peer Reviews and FAC so much easier! Midnightblueowl (talk) 18:44, 11 June 2013 (UTC)

I think I'm going to go ahead and promote this. It easily meets the GA criteria, and I think I'm getting close enough to the text that there's not a lot more that I can offer. The "central arguments" section is now much clearer, which is what I was really waiting on. I do think that this has FAC potential but that it isn't quite ready yet- I'd have another editor look through the prose to see what they pick up on, and have another deep look to see if there have been any reviews in obscure journals we haven't found yet- for a shorter article (and less famous topic!) it wouldn't do to miss any sources. I'll have another look around myself, too. In the mean time- well done! A really strong article. J Milburn (talk) 23:44, 11 June 2013 (UTC)