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Gender history and boundaries of witchcraft in the heart of Early Modern Europe


This project constitutes an original contribution to a major phenomenon in Early Modern Europe; the witch-hunt. The innovative aspect of such a project is the double approach combining Gender History with a European dimension with the strategic choice of a crucial region as my field of work, the region of Alsace.

The originality of the project is to consider a region in the heart of Europe and at the heart of the question. The central region of Alsace is capital for the understanding of a phenomenon on a European scale. The witch craze that gained ground along the Rhine River and spread throughout Europe was particularly violent, despite the fact that, paradoxically there is no overall work on this subject.

This boundary zone on the fringes of two worlds is an exceptional research laboratory by its wealth and the fact it is representative of a politically and religiously divided Europe. The special characteristics of a border zone, in political, religious and linguistic terms, add further important dimension s to the project.

The approach of the phenomenon is turned towards gender history, not feminist in the militant sense, which could reduce its value in a broader historical context, but in the sense that it allows a vitally important aspect to be integrated into the understanding of the question: that of the power relations at work in interaction between men and women at the time.

To succeed in this research, the choice of Oxford University is pertinent considering its exceptionally large number of historians. My work would be supervised and mentored by Robin Briggs and other senior academics involved as appropriate.

This project has minimal infrastructure needs in some respects, since the work is essentially individual research. The crucial elements are library resources and archives.

This work should be the opportunity to derive benefit from combined experiences, methods and skills, and would also contribute to forging links between research communities.

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University Offices, Wellington Square
United Kingdom

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