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Punishing Remains: Performing Witch Archives, Decriminalizing Witchcraft

February 13, 2018
Lecture by VK Preston, Presented by the Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium (Founded by Natalie Zemon Davis and James K. McConica in 1964)
4 p.m. | Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place, Room 208 North

poster image Léonora_Galigaï_par_Daniel_Dumonstier

This lecture is presented in partnership with the Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium and Centre for the Study of France and the Francophone World, Munk School of Global Affairs.

The 1618 trial of Leonora Galigaï, along with her husband’s memory, was accompanied by fantastical political defamation. This talk on damnatio memo­riae and the blurred borders of the witch trials inves­tigates performing arts archives alongside literary defamation and the destruction of monu­ments. Combining allegations of witchcraft, Judaism, and defamations of female political leadership, this talk offers analyses of a hybrid trial in baroque Paris disclosing performative uses of print deployed in the destruction of political legacies and influence.

VK Preston is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and University College at the University of Toronto. She works at intersections of performance theory and history with a focus on seventeenth-century French and trans-Atlantic baroques. As an early career research fellow with the History of the Emotions Project in Melbourne, Australia, VK’s work on intersections of performativity and witch studies grapples with historiography, authority, and judicial abuse as well as histories of dance, theatre, and defamation.  She is a research affiliate of Early Modern Conversions Project and participant in a number of international research communities, including, most recently, as a fellow at the John Carter Brown Library in Providence.

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