Who is this course for?

Caliban and the Witch in a Time of COVID-19 offers leaders analysis for moving through a global pandemic in a way that strengthens the momentum of our calls for racial, gender, class, and earth justice. Participants receive tools to understand the historical entanglements of patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism, even as we center histories of resistance and futures of possibilities

The teachings are an offering for a renewed imagination as we ask: How do we create a feminist economy in order to support the labor that sustains and changes the world? 

We heal our economy by reimagining...

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

Our transformational study turns to a classic text of feminist history—Silvia Federici's Caliban and the Witch—to contemplate how we build a feminist economy to sustain the labor of collective change.

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 Dr. George's course lectures on Federici's book, she teaches that we can learn 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. 

This is a Feminist Leadership Training Course:

Contact us to bring this training to your organization or for our 1:1 Mentorships.

Through studying Caliban and the Witch in a Time of COVID-19, participants learn:

  • Historical connections of suppressed histories

    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.​

  • Application to making change today

    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.

  • Spiritual healing that dismantles capitalist values

    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.

Course Details

Caliban and the Witch in a Time of COVID-19 is a graduate-level study available within Feminist Leadership Training. Course curriculum is $1997/participant. We offer scholarships for historically marginalized institutions.

  • 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, you will 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.

Want to stay informed about educational offerings at Feminism School?

Book a Feminism School Consultation

Bring our courses and Feminist Leadership Training to your organization, or inquire on 1:1 Mentorships

Explore Our Curriculum