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Witchcraft and Emotions: Social Conflict and the Judicial Process

Date: 23-24 June 2016
Location: Berlin
Enquiries: Laura Kounine (kounine@mpib-berlin.mpg.de)

Witch-trials are saturated with emotions: accusers and witnesses vented their hatreds and fears, while accused witches struggled to maintain some control over their emotional self-representation. Trial processes involved not only those accused of witchcraft, but could also become community affairs, encompassing different layers of judicial and religious personnel, as well as neighbours, friends and family.

This conference will examine the emotions that occur within the dynamics of witchcraft accusations and witch-trials, through the social network of neighbours, friends and kin, or the spatial network of the torture chamber or courtroom.

Convenors:

  • Laura Kounine (Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin)
  • Charles Zika (CHE, The University of Melbourne)
  • Jacqueline van Gent (CHE, The University of Western Australia)
  • Michael Ostling (Arizona State University).

Image: Woodcut illustration to the second edition of Friedrich Spee's Cautio criminalis, 1632.