< April 2023 >
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Witchcraft and Emotions


Date: 25–27 November 2015
Time: TBD
Venue: Graduate House, 220 Leicester St Carlton
Enquiries: che-melb-admin@unimelb.edu.au

Register here


Download event programme


Charles Zika (Melbourne)
Laura Kounine (Berlin)
Sarah Ferber (Wollongong)
Jacqueline van Gent (Western Australia)
Charlotte-Rose Millar (Melbourne)

Witchcraft is an intensely emotional crime. The crime of witchcraft fundamentally concerns the impact of emotional states on physical ones. Anger, envy or hate of one person towards another could manifest itself in a variety of physical ailments and even death. In early modern Europe, women’s passions and lusts were sometimes said to make them more prone to witchcraft than their male counterparts. It was not just the witch who was intensely emotional: the Devil could also play the role of jealous lover or violent master. So too the families, relations, friends, and sometimes the community as a whole, would be drawn into the complex web of emotional claim and counter claim from which developed accusations and condemnations of witchcraft.

Yet despite the path-breaking work of Lyndal Roper and Diane Purkiss on the emotional self-representation and imagination of accused witches and their accusers, an emotional history of witchcraft remains relatively unexplored. This conference seeks to bring together scholars from a number of different fields, including history, art history and anthropology, to probe further into the relationship between witchcraft and emotions through an inter-disciplinary perspective.

Confirmed speakers include: Victoria Burbank (Anthropology, University of Western Australia), Johannes Dillinger (History, Oxford Brookes), Iris Gareis (Anthropology, Goethe University Frankfurt), Malcolm Gaskill (History, University of East Anglia), Eliza Kent (University of New England), Isak Niehaus (Anthropology, Brunel University), Abaigéal Warfield, (History, University of Adelaide), Jan Machielsen (History, University of Oxford), Patricia Simons (History of Art, University of Michigan), Julian Goodare (History, University of Edinburgh), John Taylor (Anthropology, La Trobe University), Deborah Van Heekeren (Anthropology, Macquarie University), Charlotte-Rose Millar (History, University of Melbourne), Laura Kounine (History, Max Planck Institute Berlin), Jacqueline van Gent (History, University of Western Australia), Charles Zika (History, University of Melbourne) and Sarah Ferber (History, University of Wollongong).

The conference dinner at Il Vicolo Carlton will be at 7pm on Wednesday 25 November.

This symposium is the first of two, the second of which will be held in Berlin in June 2016.

Public Film Screening

There will be a free, public film screening of the 1922 film ‘Haxan: Witchcraft through the Ages’.

Date: Thursday 26 November
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Singapore Theatre, Melbourne Design School, The University of Melbourne
RSVP: This is a free event but please register at The University of Melbourne

A panel session and Q&A will follow the screening.


Image: Frontispiece woodcut,  in  Performance at the Blocksberg (Blockes-Berges Verrichtung) by Johannes Praetorius [Hans Schultze], 1668 and 1669 editions.