Witch Hunts Past, Present, Future: Discussion and Workshop


Nov 11, 2016 • 7:00 PM




Gallery at BRIC House
647 Fulton Street
(Enter on Rockwell Place)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
United States
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Macon Reed, Witch Trial (video still)


In collaboration with artist Macon Reed and her installation Hammer of Witches, Pears of Anguish in the BRIC Biennial, a series of workshops and discussions will take place exploring the persecution of witches throughout history and its relation to the rise of capitalism, how we relate to our physical bodies, and collective imagination.

Witch Hunts Past, Present, Future features a lively panel conversation with Silvia Federici, Ynanna Djehuty, Dr. Zelaika S. Hepworth Clarke, Lorrayne Carroll, and Morehshin Allahyari.


Silvia Federici is an Italian American scholar, teacher, and activist from the radical autonomist feminist Marxist tradition. She authored Caliban and The Witch, a history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages to the witch-hunts and the rise of mechanical philosophy, Federici investigates the capitalist rationalization of social reproduction. She is currently a Professor Emerita and Teaching Fellow at Hofstra University and also taught at the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. She is also the co-founder of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa, and is a member of the Midnight Notes Collective. 

Ynanna Djehuty, née Carmen Mojica, is an Afro-Dominicana born and raised in the Bronx. She is a midwife, writer and reproductive health activist. The focus of her work is on the empowerment of women and people of the African Diaspora, specifically discussing the Afro-Latina identity. She utilizes her experience as a midwife to raise awareness on maternal and infant health for women, highlighting the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States for women of color. Ynanna is one of the co-founders and the associate editor of La Galería Magazine, an online publication for Dominicans of the Diaspora.

Dr. Zelaika S. Hepworth Clarke is a sexuality scholar, sexuality educator, cultural and clinical sexologist, sexosopher, sexecologist, African-centered social worker, decolonizing autoethnographer, eighth-generation farmer, therapist and consultant.  Zelaika is the first Jamerican to graduate with three degrees in Human Sexuality from accredited Universities. Zelaika received a Bachelor’s degree in Sexuality, Culture and Oppression at New York University, Masters in Social Work, Masters in Education of Human Sexuality and Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Sexuality from Widener University. Zelaika’s decolonizing research was conducted in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil which focused on exploring Ọ̀ṣunality, an African-centered, sex-positive, post-colonial paradigm that affirms diversity in sensuality, sexual pleasure and eroticism. 

Lorrayne Carroll has been personally and professionally interested in Witchcraft Studies for over 20 years. As an Associate Professor of English and member of the Women and Gender Studies Council at the University of Southern Maine, she teaches courses in the North American contexts of witchcraft. The courses consider the cultural representations of witches, witchcraft, and paganism from the 17th century to the current moment, with a particular emphasis on what feminist inquiry can reveal about persecution, marginalization, and cooptation of repressed practices.  Dr. Carroll reads and writes about outsiders in Early American literature and about teaching witchcraft as a topic in university settings. She has also presented lectures on the visual culture of North American witchcraft.

Morehshin Allahyari is a new media artist, activist, educator, and occasional curator. She was born and raised in Iran and moved to the United States in 2007. Her work extensively deals with the political, social, and cultural contradictions we face every day. She thinks about technology as a philosophical toolset to reflect on objects; a poetic mean to document the personal and collective lives we live and our struggles as humans in the 21st century. Her recent work, SHE WHO SEES THE UNKNOWN, addresses Digital Colonialism and ‘re-Figuring’ as a Feminism and activism practice using 3D scanners and 3D printers as her tools of investigation. Researching dark goddesses, monstrous, and djinn female figures of Middle-Eastern origin, Allahyari devises a narrative through practices of magic and poetic-speculative storytelling, re-appropriation of traditional mythologies, collaging, meshing, scanning, and archiving.

Other associated workshops:


Venue Information:

The 3,000 square-foot Gallery in BRIC House has soaring 18-foot ceilings that permit major exhibitions focusing on emerging and mid-career artists and curators. 

Beginning Nov. 1, 2022, attendees of any BRIC House programming will no longer have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter the building. Masks are encouraged but not required in all BRIC operated spaces. If you have questions regarding this protocol, please email Safety@bricartsmedia.org. For our full BRIC House COVID-19 policy, visit: https://www.bricartsmedia.org/safety.