Professor Fabrizio Conti Lectures on Witchcraft at Bard College Berlin

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Dr. Fabrizio Conti, a lecturer in History at John Cabot University, was invited to give a seminar on “The Classical Greek and Latin Roots of Beliefs in Witchcraft: A Multidisciplinary Liberal Arts Topic” at Bard College Berlin on May 8, 2018.

Conti’s talk aimed at discussing the literary traditions centered on the bird-women, blood-sucking striges (“streghe”, witches), to be found in Greek and Latin authors such as Antoninus Liberalis, Horace, Ovid, and Petronius, and the role those traditions played in the construction of the “mythology” of the witch throughout the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Prof. Conti also discussed with students and faculty the potentialities of studying the history of witchcraft as a peculiarly multifaceted and trans-disciplinary field, which might give the liberal arts student a wonderful opportunity for applying and exercising critical thinking and problem-based learning.

Prof. Conti earned his Ph.D. in History and Medieval Studies from the Central European University in Budapest (2011). He also earned degrees from the School of the Vatican Secret Archive and the Pontifical Institute for Christian Archeology, both in Rome. After several teaching experiences both in Italy and abroad, and after having taught at the Ohio State University in 2015, he is currently a lecturer in the History and Humanities Department at the John Cabot University in Rome, teaching courses including Introduction to Western Civilization, Medieval History, and the Italian Renaissance. He published a monograph titled Witchcraft, Superstition, and Observant Franciscan Preachers: Pastoral Approach and Intellectual Debate in Renaissance Milan (Brepols, 2015).

In Fall 2018 Prof. Conti will be teaching HS 120 Introduction to Western Civilization and HS 235 The Birth of Medieval Europe: from Constantine to the First Crusade.