Emotions in the History of Witchcraft

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Laura Kounine, Michael Ostling
Palgrave Studies in the History of Emotions
  • London, England: 
    Palgrave Macmillan
    , February
     321 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Bringing together leading historians, anthropologists, and religionists, this volume examines the unbridled passions of witchcraft from the Middle Ages to the present. Witchcraft is an intensely emotional crime, rooted in the belief that envy and spite can cause illness or even death. Witch-trials in turn are emotionally driven by the grief of alleged victims and by the fears of magistrates and demonologists. 
With examples ranging from Russia to New England, Germany to Cameroon, chapters cover the representation of emotional witches in demonology and art; the gendering of witchcraft as female envy or male rage; witchcraft as a form of bullying and witchcraft accusation as a form of therapy; love magic and demon-lovers; and the affective memorialization of the “Burning Times” among contemporary Pagan feminists. Wide-ranging and methodologically diverse, the book is appropriate for scholars of witchcraft, gender, and emotions; for graduate or undergraduate courses, and for the interested general reader.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Laura Kounine is lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Sussex, and was previously a research fellow at the Centre for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. She is the co-editor of Cultures of Conflict Resolution in Early Modern Europe (2016) and author of the forthcoming Imagining the Witch: Emotions, Gender and Selfhood in Early Modern Germany.

Michael Ostling is honors faculty fellow at Arizona State University and an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland, Australia.  He is the author of Between the Devil and the Host (2011) and editor of the forthcoming Fairies, Demons, and Nature Spirits (2017). 


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