Caliban and the Witch

Understanding where we’ve been allows us to learn about where we stand. All too often in our struggles for liberation it is easy to forget that the world has not always been the way it is and that another world is possible.

We will attempt a close reading of selected chapters of Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch. This well-researched and accessible volume focuses on the Witch Hunts that occurred at the end of the feudal period as a central way to understand the birth of capitalism. Many other topics are explored, such as the enclosure of the commons, African slavery, and the subjugation of women and the working class.

Understanding this era gives us a keener understanding of the context of these continuing struggles today.

I facilitated this Free Skool workshop series in 2010 in which a dozen people met weekly for two months, did readings of the text and related material and participated in discussion.