Aíne Norris (Old Dominion University)
Building on conversations and topic connections from the 2023 Convention, this panel invokes the 2024 theme surplus in regards to witches and depictions of the occult. All too often, witches were history’s unwanted women, defying cultural and social norms in ways that were determined to be in excess of what was conventional. What does it mean that these narratives of witches, both real and fictional, have been told and retold such that the witch is now a near constant presence in popular culture, literature, museums, and local histories Does this exposure enhance what we know about witches in society and their histories or futures, or does this exposure complicate and possibly dilute their historical, social, or gendered power?
This panel examines our collective societal surplus of witch stories and examines how these depictions complicate or complement narratives and legacies, with particular interest in ways that scholarship and education can impact the trajectory of storytelling.
Interdisciplinary approaches for papers may include:
Literature, texts, or theory
Technology or media studies
Race and ethnicity studies
Pop culture studies
Local or regional examinations
Museum studies and public history
Historic preservation or conservation