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The Witch

The witch has long held a fascination with public and academics alike. In this lecture, we will take a trip through the social and psychiatric history of witchcraft. Beginning with the infamous European witch trials of the Middle Ages and considering the Salem witch trials of the 1690s, we will introduce important figures from the time;  Matthew Hopkins - Witch Finder General - and James I, Rebecca Nurse and Giles Corey. We will also explore the Malleus Maleficarum and its relation to modern psychiatric classification systems. Important questions raised along the way include how we distinguish reality from fantasy and we distinguish faith from proof. This lecture is intended to dispel long-held myths about the witch and to make the audience think about the nature of atypical behaviour.

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