Please join us for a reception hosted by Professor Dame Sue Black, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University, to celebrate Lancaster's first Festival of Social Science. Developed by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) the Festival of Social Science 2019 runs from 2-9 November 2019, with over 450 events held across the UK covering topics ranging from artificial intelligence, mental health, sexuality, weather, gender and many more.

Come in from the cold and have a hot drink with us, where you can discover the many events organised in town and on Campus by the University. An escape room, a photography exhibition, a special guided visit of Lancaster Castle are just a few of the interactive activities open to all!

About the Lecture

Certain witchcraft-related beliefs and practices have resulted in serious violations of human rights in the past and continue to do so today, here in Lancashire (the home of the Pendle Witch Trials, of course), and globally.

In her lecture, Dr Charlotte Baker, Deputy Head of the Department of Languages and Cultures at Lancaster University, will discuss her research on albinism in Africa, a condition which is considered a sign of witchcraft. She will give examples of the human rights abuses faced by people with albinism and other vulnerable groups, and the work she has been doing to bring about meaningful and sustainable change through her collaboration with non-government organisations and the United Nations Human Rights Council. 


  • 5.45pm Doors open
  • 6pm - 6.30pm ESRC Festival of Social Science reception (the Thomas Storey Room)
  • 6.30pm - 6.45pm Registration and access to Public Lecture venue
  • 6.45pm - 7.45pm Lecture and Q&A Session (the Auditorium)
  • 7.45pm - 8.15pm Wine Reception

To register for your free tickets, please go to Eventbrite or email public-events@lancaster.ac.uk for more details. 

About Dr Charlotte Baker

Dr Charlotte Baker is Deputy Head of the Department of Languages and Cultures and Senior Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies at Lancaster University. Her research focuses on disability in sub-Saharan Africa and she is particularly interested in understandings and representations of albinism in African contexts. Dr Baker collaborates with NGOs and international organizations to enhance understandings of albinism and to challenge the misconceptions associated with this genetic condition.

In 2014 Dr Baker established the Wellcome Trust funded Albinism in Africa network and in 2017 she organized the first United Nations expert meeting on witchcraft and human rights at its headquarters in Geneva. With the UN Independent Expert on Albinism and civil society partners, she is working to table a Resolution at the Human Rights Council that recognizes the harm caused by certain witchcraft-related beliefs and practices.

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