Evil Lurks In This Year's Sidore Series at UNH

Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations

Sept. 8, 2005

DURHAM, N.H. -- The 2005-2006 Saul O Sidore Lecture Series at the University of New Hampshire will examine ideas about evil and efforts to combat it in a diversity of places — Nigeria, Ghana, the United States, Great Britain, Egypt and Sudan — and explore how these ideas represent both products of, and resistance against modernity. The series begins Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005, with Jean LaFontaine, professor emeritus of social anthropology at the London School of Economics and the author of Speak of the Devil: Tales of Satanic Abuse in Contemporary England.

LaFontaine will discuss the significance of accusations of Satanism in contemporary Great Britain and their effect on the intellectual climate of the 21st century. She is the mother of authoritative books and essays on African witchcraft beliefs, initiation rites, the sociology of childhood and social anthropology. In the late 1980s, she began systematic research into the character and dynamics of satanic ritual abuse panics then arising all over the United Kingdom. For more information on LaFontaine and a complete schedule of speakers, visit http://www.unh.edu/humanities-center/sidore/sidore.htm.

All lectures are free and open to the public, and begin at 4 p.m. in Theatre I of the Memorial Union Building.

The purpose of the Sidore series is to offer the university community and the state of New Hampshire programs that raise critical and sometimes controversial issues facing our society. The series is sponsored by the UNH Center for the Humanities.