Researcher biography

BA (Reed), MA (Toronto), PhD (Toronto)

Michael Ostling earned his PhD in Religious Studies from the Centre for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto, in 2008. His doctoral dissertation formed the basis of his first book: Between the Devil and the Host: Imagining Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland (Oxford, 2011). As a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for  the History of European Discourses (subsequently IASH) from 2012 through 2015, Michael undertook research into the history of emotions, ethnobotany, demonology, and folkloristics, resulting in several publications including “Witches’ Herbs on Trial” (Folklore, 2014), “Babyfat and Belladonna: Witches’ Ointment and the Contestation of Reality” (Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft, 2016), and Fairies, Demons, and Nature Spirits: “Small Gods” at the Margins of Christendom (Palgrave, forthcoming 2017). Michael now teaches at the Honors College at Arizona State University. His new research project explores the radical pedagogy of the Polish dissident and social theorist Jacek Kuroń.