||"Witch craze" (also known as "witch-hunts") in this thesis connotes the witch craze and witch-hunts that raged throughout Europe from the 16th to 18th century and New England in the 17th century, as well as the much later feminist craze for the female subject through research into that period of witch-hunting, often centering upon the misery of the hunted woman victims, brutality of male hunters, and, most important of all, patriarchal injustice to women.
As “witch-hunt” has already been generalized into a label that could be easily applied to any (self-proclaimed?) oppressed group, especially to women as a group, the present thesis would like to examine the formation of this witch-hunt discourse and re-consider the terms being constructed. This thesis also hopes to present the diversity among the different subjects who had come to share the same label of the “witch,” and to find different definitions for the witches and witch-related subjects under study by so-called “gender-blind” male researchers. Such a survey of witch-hunt researches as well as historical documents may provide us with a better understanding not only of the witch as one of the most mysterious historical subjects, but also of the various roles women have played and are still playing in witch-hunts and other similar historical events.