Article ID: CBB001201415

The Gendering of Witchcraft: Defence Strategies of Men and Women in German Witchcraft Trials (2013)


This article examines what `gender' meant and how it shaped and constituted experience for men and women caught up in witchcraft trials in early modern Germany. It argues that, in order for `gender' to be a productive question in witchcraft research, trials of men and women need to be explored side by side. Moreover, it shows that close readings of trial narratives can move beyond the gendered binaries that have dominated the study of early modern witch-hunting. It argues instead that there were variegated and at times conflicting identifications in establishing someone as a `good' as opposed to `evil' man or woman. Approached in this way, understandings of not only `gender' but also what constituted witchcraft and the `witch' appear far more contested and unstable than has previously been suggested.

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Authors & Contributors
Paul B. Moyer
Paola Ricci Sindoni
Watt, Jeffrey R.
Vanderheyden, Vrajabhūmi
Simon, Sophie
Schulte, Rolf
Social History
Journal of Social History
Journal of Early Modern History
History and Theory
Archivio di Filosofia
Palgrave Macmillan
Cornell University Press
Université de Lausanne
Oxford University Press
Witchcraft; demonology
Science and religion
Science and culture
Trials (law)
Occult sciences
Newton, Isaac
Locke, John
Institoris, Henricus
Calvin, Jean
Time Periods
Early modern
16th century
17th century
15th century
Geneva (Switzerland)
Holy Roman Empire
Atlantic world
Innsbruck (Austria)

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