When we talk about witches in pop culture, we're also talking about the representation of representation of women in pop culture. She has been used as a cautionary tale, and has been reclaimed by women and feminist scholars as a figure of female empowerment.
In recent years, from the remakes like Suspiria, Charmed and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and original films like The Witch, The Love Witch, Hereditary and more, the figure of the witch has permeated the public consciousness once again.
In this event, we deep dive into the myriad of forms the witch has taken in film and television, from the romantic heroines of I Married A Witch and the goth teens of The Craft, television depictions of witches in Sabrina, Charmed, True Blood and American Horror Story and the witchploitation of the seventies, as well as some of questions that arise around representation, sexuality and empowerment.
Join us and an array of expert speakers to discuss all witchy things.
11:30 | Doors Open
12:00 | Introduction by The Final Girls
12:10 | Witches in film history by Virginie Sélavy To open the event, we present overview of the figure of the witch in film, and her many iterations, from suburban horror like Season of the Witch or Rosemary's Baby, to feminist sex magic The Love Witch, classic hollywood rom-coms I Married a Witch, Bell Book and Candle, folk horror like The Witch, witchsploitation films like Blood on Satan's Claw, Witchfinder General, 90s witchy icons in The Craft, Practical Magic, The Witches of Eastwick. Virginie Sélavy is the founder and editor-at-large of Electric Sheep, the online magazine for transgressive cinema. She has edited the collection of essays The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology (Strange Attractor Press) and has contributed to World Directory Cinema: Eastern Europe and the London volume of Film Locations: Cities of the Imagination. Her work has appeared in various publications, including the Guardian, Cineaste and Frieze. She hosts a monthly radio show on Resonance 104.4 FM and occasionally curates screenings.12:50 | Lunch Break
13:20 | In Conversation with Dr. Marion Gibson
Dr. Marion Gibson is the Professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures at Exeter University. She writes about witches, paganism and the supernatural in literature and culture from the middle ages to the present day. Her research investigates the relationships between writings about magic and the supernatural and those about identity (national, local, sexual, religious and so on) in modernity – i.e. from around 1500 to the present day. Her books include: Rediscovering Renaissance Witchcraft (Routledge, 2017), a book examining the ways in which sixteenth and seventeenth century writings on witchcraft have continued to inspire modern literature, especially popular novels, poems and films in Britain and America, Witchcraft: The Basics (Routledge, 2018), Imagining the Pagan Past: Gods and Goddesses in Literature and History since the Dark Ages. (London and New York: Routledge, 2013), Witchcraft Myths in American Culture (New York: Routledge, 2007). Possession, Puritanism and Print: Darrell, Harsnett, Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Exorcism Controversy (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2006), Reading Witchcraft: Stories of Early English Witches (London and New York: Routledge, 1999), with Garry Tregidga and Shelley Trower, Mysticism, Myth and Celtic Identity (London: and New York: Routledge, 2012) and with Jo Esra, The Arden Shakespeare Dictionary of Shakespeare’s Demonology (London: Arden/Bloomsbury, 2014).
14:20 | Break
14:30 | Teen Witches by Kimberley Sheehan
The witch has been a fixture of teen television series and films. Her many iterations range from from the vanilla musings of Sabrina the Teenage Witch to the dark dynamics of the The Craft. Not to mention the witches, both as supporting characters and as protagonists, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Beautiful Creatures, The Vampire Diaries, and Wizards of Waverley Place.
Kimberley Sheehan is one third of Forever Young Film Club, a film collective dedicated to celebrating and reappraising Coming of Age & Teen films. She is also a Programmer at BFI Southbank.
15:20 | Panel discussion
16:50 | Wrap-up
17:00 | End of event
Presented by The Final Girls.
Part of HERE BE WITCHES, an exploration of the witch in film and TV through a season of films, discussions and a brand-new podcast.
Presented by The Final Girls.
This is a 15+ event.