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UNI to host lecture on witches and climate change

February 25, 2013

Charlotte Wells, associate professor, history, 319-273-2925,

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will host a lecture on the topic of witches and climate change. The lecture, by Charlotte Wells, associate professor of history, will take place from 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, March 6, in Seerley Hall, Room 115. 

Wells' presentation will examine correlations between the climatic ups and downs of the Little Ice Age and the worst outbreaks of the early modern witch persecutions in Europe and colonial America.

Modern research strongly suggests that popular violence against people believed to be witches was a reaction to crop failures and meteorological disasters caused by the shifts in climate over the Northern Hemisphere. Having no other explanation, people believed such upheavals were caused by evil magic and sought to punish the perpetrators in hopes of making things return to normal.

The lecture is free and open to the public and is hosted by the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and the History Club Lecture Series. For more information, contact Charlotte Wells at 319-273-2925 or