Caliban and the witch

“Caliban and the Witch is a history of the development of capitalism in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries analyzed from the viewpoint of its impact on women and the reproduction of the work force which in capitalist society becomes “women’s labor.”  It shows that war and enslavement were fundamental conditions of capitalist development  (as they continue to be) and, most important, that capitalist development required and began with a war against women. This war was conducted primarily through the witch-hunts that took place in Europe and America, especially in Peru, leading to the torture and execution of hundreds of thousands of women and to the definition of women as inferior beings: savage, cannibalistic and demonic. In the book I argue that this war against women was rooted in two aspects of capitalism that have remained a structural feature of the capitalist system to our day.”

Silvia Federici (2017)
Silvia Federici talking about feminism today.

Required reading

This session will be convened by Hayley Roud. Please read pages X to X of the following text before the reading group session.

Federici, S. (2004). Caliban and the witch: Women, the body and primitive accumulation. New York: Autonomedia

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