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Anth 220 - Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion - Lisa M. Malley

Course:Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion
Professor:Lisa M. Malley
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


the purpose of anthroplogy

**The information in this letter is for a synchronous Online Live-Zoom class, NOT a 100% asynchronous online class**


Thanks for taking the time to click through the link on the Class Schedule to see what this class is about, and if you are able to meet the expectations. 

This class will be an exciting journey through the various aspects of belief and religion. We will discuss cultural practices from around the world, and during various time periods. 

I'm looking forward to the semester and getting to know all of you! Please make sure to check your email often as this will be how I send you important class information during the semester. This class will be available on Canvas the week before the semester starts, but if you have any questions now please don't hesitate to email me! I will do my best to respond quickly (usually 24-48 hours).

Course Description

Explores the cross-cultural phenomena of religion, witchcraft and magical behavior from an anthropological perspective and how it can affect social controls, cultural change, and healing practices. Topics include mythology, rituals, altered states of consciousness, the soul, religious specialists and modern religious movements.

Other topics covered in class: 

  • What is belief? How do you prove you believe in something? (this is a really fun topic to discuss....even beliefs in unicorns, fairies, and dragons! Oh my!)
  • How does ritual play a part in our daily lives and cultural identity? (Do you drink coffee before or after you brush your teeth? Not everyone does the same thing!)
  • Are vampires and zombies real? (answer: yes and no.....!!! Eeek!!)
  • How do people practice their beliefs? Daily, Weekly, Yearly, None of the above? 
  • Does religion and belief affect how we see the world? 

There is a lot more we will cover during the semester, but this is just a preview!

What to Expect in this Course


  • Connection to reliable internet (check out the campus free wifi map linked below)
  • Laptop/tablet or desktop with microphone and webcam (so we can wave at each other and show off our pets)
  • Regular access to Canvas and Zoom online platforms


This class will be offered in the ONLINE LIVE format. What that means is that part of the class will be online and the other part will be "synchronous." Let me explain...

  • You will need to set aside at least 8-9 hours per week for this class to work on various tasks. 
    • Each week you will access the module on Canvas and complete the following:
      • listen to a recorded, captioned lecture and take notes (content discussed during class meetings)
      • read a book chapter or review other supplemental materials posted
      • participate in a Zoom class meeting/discussion activity
    • There will also be a few homework assignments, (3) exams, and short discussion activities  (nothing crazy...I promise!!)


Dates and Times of Required Zoom Meetings

(Required meeting ONE day a week)

Section #56576--Wednesday Chats 11am-12:20 via Zoom


Types of Assessments

There will be no assignments or tests.....HAHA :) Just kidding!

During the semester you will be asked to complete homework assignments, occasional discussion posts, exams, and optional "hands-on" activities.


  • Grade Breakdown Estimates
    • Exams: (50%) we will set aside time to review any questions. Test are not cumulative.
    • Discussion Activities: (35%) Each week you are expected to attend the required Zoom meeting AND participate in the discussion/activity.
    • Homework: (15%) assignments will be written work about subjects you research

Textbook Information

The Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft By Rebecca and Phillip Stein (4th edition--the one with the women on the cover with the intense eyes!)

Cost: $20-$40 to rent, depending on website

>>Do you really need this book??? YES, we will be using this book extensively during the semester. I would not ask you to buy something that would not be used in class<<

Other Relevant Course Information

Your ability to connect to the internet will be a big factor for this course. To ensure that this does not affect your success, COC has created a map of campus where you can get access to the free wifi.

Wireless Internet Campus Map

You should also know that using a mobile phone for this course will not be ideal. The online content will be hard to read, and your ability to participate in weekly activities will be difficult. If you need help with access to hardware that is essential for this class, please contact me ASAP so I can direct you to the relevant campus resource.  

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 08/24/2023 Sub#: 266