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Witchcraft - a talk by Dr Charlotte Baker from Lancaster University

30th Jan 2020

History 2020On Wednesday 22 January, LGGS welcomed Dr Charlotte Baker from Lancaster University to give a talk titled ‘Witchcraft: From the History Books to the United Nations’.

The talk ranged from local history, with the Lancashire Witches, to modern discrimination, with Dr Baker’s own research on albinism in Africa. It was really interesting to see the links between historical beliefs around witchcraft and the harmful practices still related to witchcraft to this day. The discussion centred on themes of difference and how misunderstandings, such as those around people with albinism, can lead to attacks on different communities. It was shocking to hear that even to this day there are attacks relating to witchcraft in Lancashire – the highest concentration of any county in the UK – and Dr Baker answered questions on religious views of witchcraft and what modern witchcraft looks like. She ended the talk with presenting us with two questions for discussion: why is witchcraft typically related to women, and what could the motivations be for accusing someone of witchcraft?

Thank you to Dr Baker for such a thought-provoking talk.

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