Re-imagining Witches: Continuity and Change


6:00 - 7:00 pm

Room 5N.151 (next to Art Exchange)

admission free

What did people in previous centuries believe about witches and their powers, and how did this fit into wider beliefs about magic?

And how did beliefs about witchcraft and magic change after the 18th-century ‘Enlightenment’ downplayed (and trivialised) the possibility of supernatural intervention in human affairs?

Alison Rowlands explores answers to these questions, showing how ‘witches’ have been imagined and presented in a variety of historical, visual and literary sources from the 15th to the 21st century. She argues that the figure of the ‘witch’ has always been part of our culture, open to appropriation and re-imagining over time by different groups and individuals for many different reasons.

This talk will be followed by Q&A and then a Halloween reception in Art Exchange.

Admission free – all welcome

Professor Alison Rowlands’ interest in marginalised women, witches and witchcraft has underpinned her research for a number of years. She is a Professor in History at the University of Essex. You can find out more about Alison here

Image: A woodcut from ‘A History of Witches and Wizards’, 1720. Courtesy of the Welcome Library.