Text - Federici's Witches, Witch-hunting and Women

4:30pm Saturday 24 August

About this session

In early modern Europe, tens of thousands of people, mainly women, were murdered in legally sanctioned witch hunts. In her newest collection of essays, Silvia Federici explores the causes of the witch trials, arguing that they were an outcome and tool of the widespread enclosures of common lands and the severing of traditional peasant ties to land. The advent of the capitalist mode of production depended on a vicious and violent misogyny just as it relied on land enclosure, trade expansion, colonialism and slavery. Federici’s arguments should be fascinating for the left – she details a complicated process by which misogyny helped give birth to the modern world. This session will discuss and critically analyse Federici’s ideas.

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