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Witch stereotypes in England and Scotland: the discursive crystallization of dysphoric figures

Grant number: 18/13695-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature
Principal Investigator:Elizabeth Harkot-de-La Taille
Grantee:Ana Carolina Lazzari Chiovatto
Supervisor abroad: Sarah Margot Dunnigan
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : University of Edinburgh, Scotland  
Associated to the scholarship:17/02150-0 - The witch stereotype formation and its reframing in contemporaneity: nuances of a dysphoric alterity, BP.DR


This project, developed with regard to a 6-month research internship abroad, part of a wider study, aims to investigate the witch in terms of as a larger image category comprising two kindred stereotypes - namely, the hag and the enchantress, two faces of the transgressive female figure, both of which have been made manifest as a part of a state of unease or anxiety - what I term here 'dysphorically crystallized' - throughout history as a form of Evil incarnate. Our first step, therefore, is to research how this figure was first shaped and how it played its role in society as a scapegoat to religious, political and economic anxieties of their time. To that end, the treatises The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), by Reginald Scot (1538?-1599), and Daemonologie (1597), by King James VI of Scotland and I of England (1566-1625); and the tragedy Macbeth (c. 1603-1607), by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) shall be extensively analysed, through a mainly discursive perspective, in order to set a starting point. Subsequently, drawing on historical studies (such as Hutton's, Purkiss's, and Gaskill's) and the research literature on these three works, it is our intent to study pamphlets recounting witch-trials and literary works written by Shakespeare's contemporaries, so as to allow us to outline Early Modern England and Scotland's imaginary around the witch figure. (AU)