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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

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Dr.Carla Hustak

November 1 2011Women on TrialDisorderly Conduct Reformation and Communal Control Question of whether Witchhunting was womanhunting 100000200000 tried 4000050000 executed approximately 80 womenrecently scholars suggested that witchhunting wasnt womenhuntingalso suggested in order to really appreciate how gender worked in this period had to attend tohistorical religious factors lookmore broadly Scholars Robin Briggs Lyndal Roper Alison RowlandsHungary England Denmark 90 were huntedsincere belief that witches were real in magical powersthis period was a period of tremendous religious and political upheavalold uncertainties and beliefs seem to fall away as the reformation came into place Witchhunts more broadly in the context of the construction and practice of gender roles Regional variations 90 women in some places in other areas majority tried are menth16 and17th Century Beliefs in Magic Maleficia vs benevolent magic witch as bearing illwill wish to inflict harm demonic powerreputation of a witch if mother had been seen as a witch as one point power of heredity if there were accusations before hand vulnerability of women to witchcraft allegations given structure of gender relationsquestion of gender roles and what gender meant in this period was directly related to the witchas a figure that somehow upturned the gender order significance of looking at the witch trials this way truths of womens bodies village dynamics explaining gender imbalance in witchhuntsgender order where women who were accusers of witches were caught up in gender roleskind of roles of caring for children attending to animalsroles made them vulnerable to witchcraft accusationswhen misfortune happened this could be causally linked the women involved in these activitiescommunal or local village dynamics of witchcraft accusationsat village level specific attention can be given to to economic and social relationsto some extent we can explain the gender imbalance at witchcraft accusationshow gender operated in different communal contextswrong place at the wrong time and at a particular gender Age class marital status variableselderly most accused were between the age 4065 considered old at this timeclass context tended to be poorsome historians have pointed out that without the protection of a husband women seenvulnerable to witchcraftFramework of Argument 1 The NarrativeMythology of the Witch witchs body witchs activities demonology religion medicine and science in trials 2 Social and political conditions the climate for beliefs in the devil reformations and nationstates heresy blasphemy apocalypse
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