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2014 - RSA Annual Meeting Words: 132 words || 
1. Conti, Fabrizio. "Flying with Demons: The Pastoral Approach to the Reality of Witchcraft in Renaissance Milan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, New York, NY, Hilton New York, Mar 27, 2014 <Not Available>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper shows how the issue of the reality of witchcraft was debated early at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the period that witnessed the emergence of an increasing concern over witchcraft and superstition. After the Malleus Maleficarum (1486) the reality of witchcraft was not to be questioned so easily. However, a milieu of Observant Franciscan preachers and confessors active in Milan between 1480 and 1510 developed a model to classify superstition and, within that, they dealt with witchcraft as an illusory phenomenon. Thus, they engaged in an open contrast with the Dominicans, at the basis of which, I propose to see an interestingly early emergence of skepticism as well as the opposition between a Dominican “realistic” inquisitorial view concerning witchcraft, and a Franciscan “skeptical” pastoral approach concerning the same issue.

2015 - RSA Annual Meeting Words: 148 words || 
2. Zika, Charles. "The Witchcraft Scene of Michael Herr and Matthäus Merian the Elder: The Emotions of Pandemonium" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA Annual Meeting, Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany, <Not Available>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: In 1626 the Frankfurt engraver Matthäus Merian the Elder created an etching of a witchcraft scene after a design of German painter Michael Herr. Herr modeled it on a 1613 engraving of the Sabbath by the Polish artist Jan Ziarnko. However Herr replaced Ziarnko’s five Sabbath tableaux with wild scenes of dancing on the Blocksberg, demonic invocation, drunkenness and lechery, and sorcery. This image of pandemonium – massed frenzy and decadent excess – ignored literary descriptions of the Sabbath and depicted witchcraft as bucolic disorder.

The paper will explore the visual imagery from the perspective of the two artists’ oeuvre, the iconography of witchcraft in the early seventeenth century, and contemporary witchcraft discourse and prosecution. It will argue that its purpose and ongoing influence need to be understood in terms of its ambivalent emotional impact – how it stimulates revulsion and also attraction, terrifying fear and wondrous curiosity.

2013 - National Women's Studies Association Words: 94 words || 
3. Gasser, Erika. "Power, Agency and Ambivalence in Anglo-American Witchcraft" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Women's Studies Association, Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Cincinnati, OH, <Not Available>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Individual Paper
Abstract: In seventeenth-century witchcraft cases, both accusers and accused witches established credibility by invoking culturally recognizable scripts about witches’ malice. Many marginal accusers gained influence by naming witches, but lost it again as communities resolved the crises by recommitting themselves to patriarchal order. Confessing witches gained a degree of agency by shaping their own stories, while simultaneously making it easier for others to execute them. This paper interrogates the ambivalence of power and agency in witchcraft trials and weighs the meaning of historical subjects’ experiences alongside the broader implications of those experiences for feminist history.

2018 - RSA Words: 146 words || 
4. Duni, Matteo. "How Do You Know She's a Witch?: Dominican Inquisitors Define Witchcraft" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the RSA, Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, Louisiana, <Not Available>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: At the beginning of the sixteenth century Lombardy was the site of some of the largest witch-hunts in the history of the Italian Peninsula, mainly at the hands of the inquisitors of Como. Two of them, the Dominican friars Bernardo Rategno and Modesto Scrofeo, also wrote tracts about witches and their prosecution, adopting a distinctively practical approach to the topic. Unlike other Italian Dominican demonologists of that time, Rategno and Scrofeo concentrated on the legal dimension of their task, focusing particularly on what clues would constitute a strong suspicion of witchcraft, and included some of the first attempts at sketching an identikit of the typical witch. This paper argues that their emphasis on such aspects was meant to counter widespread contemporary criticism and opposition to the witch-hunt not only by demonstrating the reality of witchcraft, but especially by setting its prosecution on a legally unassailable foundation.

2007 - American Sociological Association Pages: 25 pages || Words: 7863 words || 
5. Zirkle, Brian. ""I Don't Believe in Magic, I Believe in Witchcraft": Worker Negotiation of an Engineered Culture" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City, Aug 11, 2007 Online <PDF>. 2019-12-09 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: In this paper, I analyze Disney’s Practical Magic as a form of cultural control aimed at creating work cultures that are customer-centric and nearly hegemonic. I argue that to the extent this is achieved, it is through the use of participatory strategies and disciplinary techniques that enmeshes workers in a web of power through which organizational values, standards, and practices are legitimated and internalized. However, looking at one company’s attempt to apply a version of Practical Magic, there is evidence that engineered culture becomes embedded in the workplace through social processes as workers negotiate the day-to-day realities of their worklives. Employees may adopt, adapt, or reject aspects of the engineered culture depending on how it intersects with other organizational constraints that shape labor processes.

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