CFP: ‘Questioning the Crime of Witchcraft’, International Conference at the EHESS Paris, Deadline: 30 November 2020

In the last decades, the multiplications of works in the field of Witchcraft Studies made it possible to profoundly renew the approaches and the study designs of the repression of witchcraft in the late Middle Ages and in the beginning of the Early Modern Era. Consequently, research has substantially specified the methods and configurations (ideological, political and doctrinal) that contribute to the genesis of the “witch-hunt”. Research also uncovered that the repression of witchcraft could take a number of different forms depending on the contexts, the spaces studied, the sources and the aims they seem to pursue. It underlines the extreme plasticity of the accusation of witchcraft and the categories of such a crime. Hence, the conference aims to focus the discussions on three main areas: the definition of the crime of witchcraft, its different receptions and the question of its reality.

The goal of the conference is also to discuss the crime of witchcraft by highlighting new fields of research and unstudied sources. The variety of definitions, the modalities of reception and the different realities that the crime of witchcraft had undergone in the late Middle Ages and at the beginning of the Early Modern Era (14th-16th centuries) will be addressed and debated.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

– Medieval and Early modern discourses and conceptions on the crime of witchcraft
– Medieval and Early modern representations of the crime of witchcraft
– Theorization of repression
– Forms of resistance against the charge and repression
– Discourses and controversies on the reality and/or veracity of witchcraft
– History and epistemology of the repression of witchcraft

The conference will be in French and in English.

The conference is open to young researchers, PhD students, Post-doctoral researchers as well as advanced graduate students.

You are invited to submit a 300-word abstract with key words in either English or French by November 30th, 2020 to the following email address: maxime.perbellini[at] Please include: a brief résumé, the title of your presentation, as well as your name and your academic affiliation. Please send any additional questions you may have to the aforementioned email address. The presentations will have to be 20 minutes long maximum.

Practical information:
The conference is sponsored by the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris, France). It will take place on the premises of the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris, France) on May 20th-21st 2021. The conference would start on May 20th at 2pm and would end on May 21st at 5pm.

Conference organizers:
• Maxime Gelly-Perbellini, PhD student at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris, France) and at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardennes, France
• Olivier Silberstein, PhD student at the University of Neufchâtel, Switzerland

For more information, please click here


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

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