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Witchcraft Unveiled: a series of supernatural seminars

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Halloween

For some, 31 October, Halloween is celebrated as the Witches’ New Year, still acknowledged as a powerful spiritual milestone. 

The witch has held a place firmly in our imagination for centuries. Driven to pop-culture heights on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, ‘witchtok’ is captivating audiences worldwide with 30 billion souls investing themselves into this historical and modern-day phenomenon.  

Join us, on witches-eve, as we delve into this fascinating topic. Let us consider, why and how The Witch is such a key figure in folklore and fairy tales on both the big screen and in books. Let’s explore the history of witches, their persecution throughout the ages and their portrayal in film, media and literature. And why are crystals, tarot readings and witchcraft Magik once again becoming a form of feminist resistance?  

Our topics of discussion will provide you with an insight into the modules studied on the following Undergraduate degrees.  

 

  • Criminology- Persecuting the Powerless: Witchcraft, Devil Worship and Demonic Possession
This talk delves into the historical usage of women as scapegoats, examining the reasons behind such practices and the methods employed. Specifically, it examines the accusations of witchcraft, devil worship, and demonic possession that have been levied against women. By exploring the gendered power dynamics and pervasive misogyny in contemporary society, we aim to gain insight into the ways our cultures and beliefs can unjustly hold women accountable. Furthermore, we will analyse how these harmful narratives have perpetuated the persecution and punishment of the vulnerable. 
 
  • Film and Media- Only bad witches are ugly: witches and the monstrous feminine in horror.  
Description: This session will consider the different ways in which horror cinema has embodied cultural anxieties around women via an exploration of the changing depiction of witches. From The Wizard of Oz and Disney’s early witches, through to the likes of Marvel’s Scarlet Witch in the contemporary period. The figure of The Witch has served as a vehicle to punish women for daring to be ‘different’. 

 

  • Law- Frights and Rights  

The town of Salem, Massachusetts is iconic in modern day history, known for it’s series of trials and prosecutions of women accused of witchcraft in the 1690’s.  The law has changed significantly since the 17th Century, right?  

 Join us as we look at the evolution of law, discover if we as a modern society have learnt lessons from the past OR are there still frightening cases where we witness rights abuses today? We will review case examples, consider punishments and determine if we’ve done enough as a society or is there always room for improvement. Join us in our look at the infamous ‘witch hunt’. 

 

  • English- What makes a memorable witch? 

This session explores the representation and creation of Witch characters and how they are stereotypically written? You will explore how the Witch has been previously portrayed in fiction to make the memorable character you think of when you hear, ‘Witch’. Will you choose to rewrite the stereotype of the Witch or stick with the memorable ideas you have of the infamous character? 

 

  • Psychology- Persecuting the Powerless: Witchcraft, Devil Worship and Demonic Possession 

  This talk will explore the how and why women have been used as scapegoats throughout history, through accusations of witchcraft, devil worship and demonic possession. It will uncover gendered power dynamics and misogyny in contemporary society to understand how our cultures, and beliefs blame women, and how this has continuously fuelled the persecution and punishment of the powerless. 

 

Academic staff will be joining us throughout the evening.