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Extending the method of subjunctive reading outlined in chapter 1, chapter 2 looks to second-wave feminist and gay liberationist histories of witchcraft, thinking about how these histories homogenize subjunctive potentiality into (overstated) indicative claims and how those histories, in failing to live up to their own indicative aspirations, become crucial sites through which historical affects circulate to authorize present (and future) political action. Through close readings of three texts—Ehrenreich and English's Nurses, Midwives and Women; Arthur Evans's Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture; and Starhawk's Dreaming the Dark—I explore the hypothesis that these histories theorize an esoteric politics that overlaps with contemporary work on feminist “new materialisms.” Drawing on decolonial theory and queer of color critique, I diverge from both new materialisms and these feminist and gay accounts of witchcraft in arguing for a pluriversal politics that doesn't require enlightenment forms of subjectivity.

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