The Witch Institute online symposium took place August 16-22, 2021. It was a one-time symposium hosted by the Department of Film and Media at Queen’s University in Katarokwi/Kingston, Ontario, Canada, as the summer institute of the Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies graduate program. It was envisioned as a place to share diverse understandings of witches and witchcraft, and to complicate, reframe, and remediate media representations that often continue to perpetuate colonial, misogynistic, and Eurocentric stereotypes of the archetypal figure.
The Witch Institute facilitated 18 roundtables, 14 workshops, and several screenings, featured talks, and performances from 125 artists, scholars, and practitioners, with nearly one thousand registered attendees participating. Many events are archived on the symposium website.
The Witch Institute also included publications which are still available:
Incantations is a collection of sixteen visual and sonic experiments centred around the idea of score as spell, curated by Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies PhD candidate Brandon Hocura as a Graduate Research Fellowship, with co-curator Naomi Okabe. The project was featured on Bandcamp Daily and is available for purchase in digital and vinyl and print forms through Séance Centre.
After the Witch of Malleghem is an augmented-reality pop-up print that remediates a 1559 image by Pieter Brueghel the Elder depicting a witch and her assistants removing “stones of madness” from villagers’ heads. It was created by Film and Media faculty members Jenn E Norton and Emily Pelstring with collaborator Edie Soleil. The print and app are free to download and physical copies of the print are available for free at participating galleries in Kingston, New York, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.
We are grateful to all of the incredible presenters, performers, practitioners, workshop leaders, roundtable chairs, committee members, technical leads, documenters, grant editors, and curators, as well as the large number of attendees who came and asked thought-provoking questions. This is clearly a realm of thinking and visioning that is only beginning. We want to keep this conversation going and are preparing to publish proceeds, as well as make archived recordings of talks available on this site. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com if you are interested in being involved in imagining future iterations of the Witch Institute.