Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women

Witches, Witch-Hunting, and Women

By Silvia Federici


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We are witnessing a new surge of interpersonal and institutional violence against women, including new witch hunts, which have occurred alongside an expansion of capitalist social relations. In this new work Silvia Federici revisits some of the main themes of Caliban and the Witch, examining the root causes of these developments and outlining the consequences for the women affected and their communities. No less than the witch hunts in sixteenth-and seventeenth-century Europe and the “New World,” this new war on women is a structural element of the new forms of capitalist accumulation founded on the destruction of people’s most basic means of reproduction.

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Silvia Federici’s new book offers a brilliant analysis and forceful denunciation of the violence directed towards women and their communities. Her focus moves between women criminalized as witches both at the dawn of capitalism and in contemporary globalization. Federici has updated the material from her well-known book Caliban and the Witch and brings a spotlight to the current resistance and alternatives being pursued by women and their communities through struggle.

– Massimo De Angelis, professor of political economy, University of East London

It is good to think with Silvia Federici, whose clarity of analysis and passionate vision, comes through in essays that chronicle enclosure and dispossession, witch-hunting and other assaults against women, in the present, no less than the past. It is even better to act armed with her insights.

– Eileen Boris, Hull Professor of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara


Part 1: Revisiting Capital Accumulation and the European Witch Hunt
Chapter 1 Midsommervisen “Vi elsker vort land”
Chapter 2 Why Speak of the Witch Hunts Again?
Chapter 3 Witch Hunts, Enclosures, and the Demise of Communal Property Relations
Chapter 4 Witch-Hunting and the Fear of the Power of Women
Chapter 5 On the Meaning of ‘Gossip’
Part 2: New Forms of Capital Accumulation and Witch-Hunting in our Time
Chapter 6 Globalization, Capital Accumulation and Violence Against Women: An International and Historical Perspective
Chapter 7 Witch-Hunting, Globalization, and Feminist Solidarity in Africa Today