Prof. Laura Stokes will join us to present:
"Murder, metadata, and moral persuasion: Early modern discourses on criminal justice"
This talk is drawn from an essay entitled "Crime pamphlets, social crisis, and moral persuasion in early modern England and Germany" which is to be published in A Cultural History of Crime and Punishment in the Renaissance (Bloomsbury). The work presents chronological readings of metadata in the EEBO, VD16, and VD17 to analyze the frequency and shifting meaning of various terms related to crime. This is supplemented with close readings of exemplary texts to demonstrate the deployment of discussions of crime to the purposes of moral persuasion and social discipline in early modern Germany and England.
Laura Stokes is Associate Professor of History at Stanford University. Their work focuses on the social history of early modern Europe, ranging from witchcraft and criminal justice to economic culture and urban history. Their first book Demons of Urban Reform: Early European witch trials and criminal justice, 1430-1530 (Palgrave, 2011) is now out in paperback. More recent work includes "A Transhistorical Perspective on Witch Hunts" in Gendering Globalization, Globalizing Gender: Post-Colonial Perspectives (OUP, 2020).