Abaigéal Warfield

Abaigéal Warfield is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the ‘Change’ program of the Centre, led by Professor David Lemmings. She worked on a project exploring how fear was constructed in early modern news pamphlets and broadsides, specifically fear of God, the Devil and witches. 

Abaigéal completed her BA at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, where she studied English and History. She then went on to embark on a research degree, entering into the integrated M.Litt/PhD program at the Department of History in Maynooth. During her final year as an undergraduate, Abaigéal became fascinated with early modern print culture. It was this interest that spurred her on to complete a PhD on the media representation of the crime of witchcraft in early modern Germany in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She graduated with her PhD in 2013, and is currently working on her first monograph, based on her doctoral research.

Following the completion of her PhD Abaigéal worked at the University of St Andrews in Scotland as a Teaching Fellow (2013/14) where she taught various aspects of early modern European history with a focus on German history from the sixteenth and seventeenth century, as well as historiography. Before moving to Adelaide, she also taught history at Maynooth University for the Department of Adult and Community Education.

Her main research interests include early modern witchcraft prosecutions, visual culture, and news media in the early modern period. Her current research focuses on the history of fear, and assesses what role the early modern media had in propagating fear during the early modern period.




Framing Fear: Constructing fear of God, the Devil, and Witches in early modern news pamphlets and broadside


Book Chapter

‘Witchcraft and the Early Modern Media’. In The Routledge History of Witchcraft, edited by Johannes Dillinger, pp. 208–17. Abingdon, Oxon: 2020 (Published December 2019).

Conference papers

‘Salvation at Stake: Fear and Justice in Early Modern German Witchcraft Crime Reports,’ XXVII conference of the International Association for Media and History, University of Paris II, 10–13 July 2017.

‘Shockingly Frightful: Fear and Shock in News Reports in Early Modern Germany’, ‘Powerful Emotions/ Emotions and Power c.400-1850’ conference roundtable, University of York, 28‒29 June 2017.

‘“A Frightening New Report”: The Use of Fear Appeal in Sixteenth-Century Lutheran News Reports’, ‘Fears and Angers’ conference, Queen Mary University London, 19–20 June 2017.

‘The Use of Fear Appeal in Sixteenth-Century German Lutheran News Reports’, History Research Seminar, The University of Adelaide, 28 April 2017

'The Construction and Propagation of Fear of the Devil in Sixteenth-Century German News Reports’, 11th Biennial Conference of the Australian & New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (ANZAMEMS) ‘Mobility and Exchange’, Wellington, NZ, 7‒10 February 2017.

‘“Doing the Devil’s Will”: The Threat of the Devil in Sixteenth-Century German Neue Zeitungen from Temptation to Incarnation’, Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Bruges, Belgium, 20 August 2016.

‘(De)Constructing Fear of Witches and Weather Magic in Sixteenth-Century Neue Zeitungen’, ‘Witchcraft and Emotions: Media and Cultural Meanings’ CHE symposium, The University of Melbourne, 25–27 November 2015.

‘Weather, Witches and Fear of God: Understanding “unnatural weather” in Early Modern Germany’, ANZAMEMS 10th Biennial International Conference, UQ, 14–18 July 2015.

‘“Zur Warnung wider dem Teuffel”:  Warnings of Witchcraft in Neue Zeitungen’ presented at the German History Society Annual Conference, Maynooth University, 6 Sept. 2014.

‘Fact and Fiction in the Hexenzeitungen: “A terrifying truthful report…”’, presented at the Arbeitkreis interdisziplinäre Hexenforschung conference “Hexerei in den Medien-Teil II” at Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Germany, 21 Feb. 2014.

‘Witchcraft, Infanticide and the Midwife-Witch in the Hexenzeitungen’, presented at the Eleventh Workshop on Early Modern German History at the German Historical Institute, London, U.K., 11 Nov. 2013.