What conditions create witch hunts?

Dr. Mikki Brock

Witch hunting is, by and large, a thing of the past, yet we remain captivated by the concept. What drives this fascination, and why are we still talking about witch hunts today?

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Witch hunting is, by and large, a thing of the past, yet its legacy and lexicon still haunts us to this day. Why, in the modern world, is this reference so persistent?

We've invited Dr. Mikki Brock – professor of demonology, witchcraft and Scottish history –to The Garden to explore witch hunts both real and rhetorical. Why are we still so fascinated by witches and the supernatural? What lessons can we learn from early-modern witch hunting? And how do people in positions of authority use language of witch hunts to evoke feelings of persecution and ultimately reinforce their power?

Mikki has always been fascinated by supernatural ideas and has spent her career investigating how they manifest in society and culture. She will be joining us live to deliver a spell-binding insight into the witch hunt and what it can teach us about modern and ancient persecution.

Talk outline


50 minutes



About the Fellow

Dr. Mikki Brock

Mikki Brock is Associate Professor of History at Washington and Lee University, whose passion is researching demonology, witchcraft and Scottish history. She's The Garden's resident expert on things that go bump in the night.

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Persecution Collection

Throughout history, humans have found ways to oppress and malign those they feel they're in opposition to, whether because of ethnicity or beliefs. In this collection, we're exploring the legacy of persecutions past, and why they're such a recurring theme.