Beyond the Sabbath: Witchcraft and its Stereotypes in Early Modern Europe

Alessio  Assonitis's picture
Call for Papers
July 1, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Early Modern History and Period Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Social History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

The antisocial character of witches has always been perceived as a danger to the established order. While the conventional stereotypes associated with witches have now been questioned and—to some extent—recalibrated, a constant factor that persists is the degree to which the “fama di strega” has played a fundamental role in prosecutorial processes. The aim of this conference is to reassess the broad assumption that social and cultural categories associated with individuals accused of witchcraft in early modern Europe are subject to conflicting perspectives. A crucial point of departure is to address, in light of new archival documentation, the ongoing debate between common perceptions (and misconceptions) and extant historical evidence. The organizers—Domizia Weber, Daniele Santarelli and Luca Al Sabbagh—invite proposals for twenty-minute unpublished papers in English or Italian. Ideal papers will interpret in a new and critical way the phenomenon of witch hunts, with particular emphasis on issues related to infamy, scapegoating, ignominy, violence, sexual behavior, sabbaths, legal proceedings, beliefs, folklore, hallucinations, therapeutic magic, medicine, and gender discrimination.

The conference will take place at Palazzo Alberti in Florence on 16 September 2022.

To apply, please send an abstract (max 250 words) and a short bio (max 200 words) by 1 July 2022 to

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