Biography

Sarah VealeSarah Veale is an award-winning doctoral researcher at York University’s Department of History, where she researches Greco-Roman religion. Her work focuses on magic and cursing, mystery cults, and death in antiquity.

A former journalist, Sarah holds a Master’s of Arts degree from the University of Toronto’s Department for the Study of Religion. Her MA thesis, “The Public Lives of Private Cults: Dionysiac Associations in the Roman East,” challenged dominant models of religion in the Roman world through the lens of Dionysiac cult. This project was selected for a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Graduate Scholarship, which is granted to “high-calibre scholars” by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Her bachelor’s degree (hons.) was completed at  York University, where she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Religious Studies and Classical Studies (double major). Both her graduate and undergraduate work has received numerous awards.

Sarah has published several articles and book reviews in peer reviewed academic journals. In addition to a published article on Iamblichan theurgy (Orientalism in Iamblichus’ The Mysteries, Pomegranate: The International Journal of Pagan Studies), her recent work on cursing rituals at the sanctuary of Magna Mater and Isis in Mainz (Germany) is slated to be published in the journal Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft (University of Pennsylvania Press).

Sarah has presented at academic conferences on diverse topics such as curse tablets in the Roman Empire, medieval Christian apocrypha, and discourses of religious alterity in antiquity. She is co-director (with Dylan M. Burns) of the Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity, an ESSWE thematic network which connects scholars of ancient esotericism. Between 2010 and 2015, she maintained the popular blog Invocatio, and many of her Invocatio posts can be found here on the blog page. She also maintains a website on ancient curses (Ancient Curses.com) which acts as a resource for curses and cursing in the ancient world.

A proud native of Chicago, Sarah roots for the White Sox and whoever is playing the Cubs.