Apr 07, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
    
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

HIS 379 - Witchcraft and Culture in the Atlantic World


3 credits
In the years from roughly 1500-1800, thousands of women and men in Europe and the Americas were put on trial and executed for the crime of witchcraft. The people of this period sincerely believed in the physical presence of the Devil, whose rampant minions lurked behind the masks of friends, neighbors, and family members. This course examines the history of popular culture, witchcraft beliefs, and occult practices in the early modern Atlantic World. Lectures will provide students with necessary background information for each section. The first section covers the popular culture of Western Europe, followed by a detailed examination of witchcraft and occult beliefs, criminal justice, and the great European witch hunts. Next, the course moves out into the Atlantic, exploring how European culture, religion, witchcraft, and occult beliefs converged with those of Indian and African peoples in the Americas. Finally, the course moves to British America, where the infamous Salem Witchcraft Trials provide a detailed case study using the original court records. May be taken as a 400 level thesis course with instructor approval. Course may not be repeated if already taken at the 300 level.
Term Offered: Rotational basis