Skip to main content

Joseph Culpepper, PhD

Affiliate, English


Joseph Culpepper, PhD

Dr. Joseph Culpepper is a researcher, magician, and magic consultant.

He is a Mitacs Elevate postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University's department of English (under the supervision of Dr. Louis Patrick Leroux) and Cirque du Soleil's research and development centre (C:Lab). The title of his current research project is “Adapting Human Performance Techniques, Illusion Aesthetics, and Specialized Apparatus from the World of Stage Conjuring to Contemporary Circus Disciplines.” He is also an associate researcher and instructor at CRITAC (Center for Circus Arts Research, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer) at the National Circus School of Montreal. Dr. Culpepper is a cofounder of the performance collective Ars Mechanica, a member of The Magic Circle in London and serves on the editorial board of the journal Early Popular Visual Culture. His writing on magic has appeared in Genii, Magicol, Magicus, The Walrus, The Toronto Review of Books and in a number of academic press publications including Magie. Machines. Media. (Presse Universitaires du Septentrion, 2018).

He holds a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Toronto. His dissertation, "Reception and Adaptation: Magic Effects, Mysteries, Con Games," analyzes how individuals experience magic through various media. 

Back to top

© Concordia University