The Witch Institute

Harnessing the Cultural Power of the Witch for Decolonial, Feminist Future

The image of the witch, in its various present-day cultural imaginings, remains a contested, multifaceted site that speaks to a range of urgent global conflicts, including the subjugation of women and people of colour.The Witch Institute will provide a platform for examining this figure as it appears in contemporary media, with an eye toward the colonial and gendered processes by which ‘the witch’ emerged. By staging interdisciplinary dialogue amongst academics, artists, filmmakers, curators, activists, journalists, and practitioners, it aims to develop strategies for creating social change through representation and cultural production.

Starting with the interactive Witch Video Portal, which will include a database of witch-related film and television; a digital and live-streaming service of media, performances, and lectures; a digital exhibition space; and a discussion forum, The Witch Institute will culminate at a four-day symposium that brings together thinkers from across the fields of history, religious studies, media studies, literary studies, art history, Indigenous studies, Black studies, Latin American studies, and gender studies, as well as community- and arts-based practitioners for the purpose of addressing, problematizing, expanding, and creating new imaginings of the witch.