De heks als protest | Talk door o.a. religiewetenschapper Arjan Sterken
De heks als protest | Talk door o.a. religiewetenschapper Arjan Sterken

The Witch as a Protest | Radboud Sounds

***Doornroosje | Red Stage | 21:50 - 22:20 hrs***

This talk and film is part of Radboud Sounds on Friday 14 June 2024 @ Doornroosje (Nijmegen)

The witch is back! And this time not as an oppressed woman burned at the stake, but as a giants name and symbol of resistance against patriarchal society.

This talk is in Dutch. 

Come hear religious scholar Arjan Sterken and theologian Grietje Dresen and learn all about how the witch has become a sign of protest.


At a time when old symbols are taking on new meanings, the figure of the witch offers a fascinating insight into the transformation of societal conceptions of power and gender. This modern take on the witch offers a counterpoint to old stereotypes and oppressive norms. 

Modern meaning

This reinterpretation and embrace of the witch shows how our interpretation of figures from folklore and mythology changes over time. The modern view of the witch as a figure of strength and autonomy underlines here a counterpoint, away from old stereotypes and oppressive norms. It thus takes on a renewed modern meaning, not only as a sign of resistance but also as a plea for a deeper connection with nature and equality between genders.

After his talk, Arjan Sterken talks to theologian and feminism expert Grietje Dresen about how the witch has become a symbol of protest.

About the speakers

Arjan Sterken teaches Comparative Religious Studies at Radboud University. His research focuses on the supernatural. This is fertile ground for projecting the fears and desires of many cultures across time and space. Arjan is concerned with this process, the process of Othering, within mythology and folklore, and primarily within India and the Germanic area.

Arjan's research helps make the Dutch horror film Witte wieven possible. Watch the trailer. 

Listen to the podcast: In a Nutshell, ep. 1: Meaningful Monsters with Arjan Sterken

Grietje Dresen is a theologian and did research on feminism and religion at Radboud University. 


Radboud Sounds - Protest!

This program is part of Protest! - Radboud Sounds science festival with live music, talks, soundbites and more on Friday, June 14, 2024, at Doornroosje, Nijmegen. Scientists from Radboud University will shine their light on the science of protest from different disciplines. Doornroosje programs the live acts. Put together your own programme and immerse yourself in science and music. Watch the aftermovie of Radboud Sounds 2023.

Contact information

Would you like to know more about the Radboud Sounds programme, or do you have other questions or comments? Please contact info [at] (info[at]reflects[dot]ru[dot]nl)

Organizational unit
Radboud Reflects
About person
A.W. Sterken (Arjan)