This event will introduce a discussion on witch-hunting as state violence and perceptions of witchcraft in the context of colonization and globalization. Dr. Silvia Federici will offer a lecture addressing witch-hunts and their role in the expansion of capitalist accumulation alongside enclosure, enslavement and land dispossession from women and Indigenous communities. Federici will examine the consequences of witch-hunting for women and their communities, reflecting on her influential books Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (2004) and Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women (2018).
Silvia Federici is a scholar, teacher, and activist from the radical autonomist feminist Marxist tradition. She is currently a Professor Emerita at Hofstra University, where she was an Associate Professor and later Professor of Political Philosophy and International Studies. She is co-founder of the International Feminist Collective, which led to the development of The International Wages for Housework Campaign in 1972. She also co-founded the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa (CAFA) and the Radical Philosophy Association (RPA) anti-death penalty project. She has written extensively on the subjugation of women and colonial expropriation in relation to enclosures, primitive accumulation, labour, and capitalism. Best known for her widely-read book, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (2004), Federici is one of the world’s leading scholars on the economic context and social impact of witch trials and witch hunts.