“The witch appears as a legendary and imaginary character. She isn’t. There were women who were, in fact, arrested, persecuted and killed. We have to fight to guarantee that we aren’t burned again.”
All over the world, violence against women is on the increase, frequently taking the form of a new “witch hunt”. Silvia Federici examines the meaning of this return, relating it to the witch hunts that took place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries – in Europe and the “new world” – and to the new forms of capitalist accumulation, while looking closely at the meaning of the figure of the witch in feminist theory and culture.
Silvia Federici is an activist, feminist, writer and teacher of Political Philosophy and International Studies at Hofstra University in New York. This lecture accompanies the launch of the Portuguese version of her most recent and highly acclaimed book Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and the Original Accumulation, published by Orfeu Negro.
Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, following ACT - Art, Climate, Transition project
Silvia Federici biography
Silvia Federici is a feminist activist, writer, and a teacher. In 1972 she was one of the cofounders of the International Feminist Collective, the organization that launched the Wages For Housework campaign internationally. In the 1990s, after a period of teaching and research in Nigeria, she was active in the anti-globalization movement and the U.S. anti–death penalty movement. She is one of the co-founders of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, an organization dedicated to generating support for the struggles of students and teachers in Africa against the structural adjustment of African economies and educational systems. From 1987 to 2005 she taught international studies, women studies, and political philosophy courses at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. All through these years she has written books and essays on philosophy and feminist theory, women’s history, education and culture, and more recently the worldwide struggle against capitalist globalization and for a feminist reconstruction of the commons.