Why take this course amidst a pandemic?

It has been clear during the pandemic that women do much of the  "invisible" labor in patriarchal economies. Silvia Federici's longtime feminist work on how the economy exploits women, as reported recently in The New York Times, is getting more attention.

Drawing on Federici's classic book, Caliban and the Witch, this course teaches a feminist analysis for moving through a global pandemic in a way that strengthens the momentum of our calls for racial, gender, class, and earth justice. 

We need to learn analysis to understand the historical entanglements of patriarchy, so that we might create futures of possibilities. And we need to learn to imagine a feminist economy that would support the labor that sustains and changes the world.

Caliban and the Witch in a Time of COVID-19 includes 15 audio lectures for self-study, a 122 page Meditations Workbook for self-reflection, and a customized 1:1 consult session with Dr. George on applying course themes to your life and leadership.

We heal our economy by reimagining...

what patriarchal racial capitalism taught us to believe about ourselves and one another.

When we consider why women were targeted in Europe's witch hunts, alongside studying the rise of capitalism and western colonial racial violence, we gain tools to see there was always resistance.  In fact, Federici argues the violence of capitalism was actually a counter-revolution to the progressive social and theological revolutions underway. 

In the course lectures, you can learn how to defy the values of a capitalist system based on violence, exhaustion, exploitation, class/race/gender/religious hierarchy, and separation from one another. We can name, recognize, and support the forms of invisible labor that sustain life and change the world. 

  • Historical Connections

    Federici brilliantly connects this history of witch hunts to western colonialism, racial hierarchies, and slavery; to the continued enclosure of land; and to the exploitation and devaluation of women's unpaid labor in the home.​

  • Real Life Applications

    Capitalism runs on making women's labor invisible, just as it runs on racial and class-based hierarchies. Deepening our understanding of these entwined systems help us re-envision anew what a feminist economy could look like, starting with our own communities.

  • Economic Healing

    We heal our economy by reimagining what patriarchal racial capitalism has taught us to believe about ourselves and one another. We connect economic justice to our fundamental interdependence with one another, other-than-human life, and the earth.

Listen to a Preview Lecture!

Once you create your Feminism School account (no credit card required), you will have access to the first 25-minute course lecture for free. 

Course Details

Caliban and the Witch in a Time of COVID-19 is a graduate-level study. Course access is for 12 months. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions before enrollment. (Please note all courses are nonrefundable.)

  • A 1:1 course consult session over Zoom with Dr. George (50 minutes) to be used by June 30th.

  • 15 course audio lectures with both scholarly and contemplative teaching by Dr. George (5.5 hours total).

  • 105 Meditations Caliban Course Workbook (122 pages).

  • Trauma-informed teaching and our signature contemplative writing prompts for holistic feminist learning practices.

  • Recommended additional scholarly readings to deepen ideas across fields of study (including religious studies, ethnic studies, Indigenous studies, and Black studies).

  • Links made between the content of the historical study, our lived and embodied experiences today, and how we imagine and co-create social change.

  • Course transcriptions of audio lectures to support visual learners (131 pages).

In this course, gain tools to:

Understand the relationship between enslaved labor, waged labor, and unwaged labor in the transition to capitalism.

Unpack how patriarchal Christian religious hierarchies perpetuated colonial racial hierarchies.

Perceive a lost history—i.e. how women resisted patriarchal power; how the poor revolted against enclosures of the commons within Europe; and how the witch hunts inflamed misogyny to suppress and divide movements for change.

Contemplate that to heal patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy, we need to feel and analyze how the daily exhaustion these systems perpetuate—especially on women's bodies— impacts our capacity to tear injustice down. 

Start to build together the practices to imagine and create new feminist economies for our justice-making that sustain the labors of transformation.

  • Why study Caliban and the Witch?

    Silvia Federici's classic book investigates why hundreds of thousands of women were killed as "witches" in the development of capitalism. Male historians had overlooked the significance of a systemic targeting of women within Europe during the rise of capitalism, the transatlantic slave trade, and western colonialism.

  • Why did mystics, heretics, midwives, herbalists, and single women so threaten the economic and religious order that widescale violence was used to suppress their voices?

    In short, capitalism had to target specific ways of knowing, ways of being, and ways of kinship. Just as capitalism was built off enslaved labor in the colonies, it also had to do violence to women within Europe.

  • Why does Federici write so much on the enclosures of land and the effects on women?

    Just as land was enclosed within Europe (the loss of the commons) in the development of capitalism, land was taken over in the colonies from Indigenous peoples. Patriarchy and the development of modern racial hierarchies were entwined from the beginning of capitalism.

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