Seminar in Early American History - HIS 912-S1
Magic, and Popular Culture in Early
Department of History – Spring 2006
Wednesday 7:00 SB 105A
Who will go down to the shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the springtime of the year?
The Mummers' Dance
The most important thing is how much
you learn after you already know it all.
Professor Emerson Baker
seminar will intensively examine the topic of witchcraft, magic, and
culture in early
course will give you a detailed understanding of the early
2. Class Participation: This seminar requires active participation by all, for the basis for the class is group discussion of the readings. Every week two students will lead class discussion, so the leaders need to come to class particularly well prepared.
3. Written assignments. The focus on this class is class discussion, however you will also have a chance to practice your craft as a writer of history in four brief assignments
- a 500 word review of two different books read during the semester (your choice of books)
- a critical review of two different web sites related to the course
- a review of a media event (movie or exhibit) which interprets the Essex County Witchcraft outbreak of 1692.
Web Review 10% (Due on February 22)
Book Reviews - 10% each 20% (Due by May 3)
Media Review 15% (Due on May 10)
Class Participation/ Leading Discussions 55%
Instructions for all written assignments
These are meant to be brief written pieces. The book reviews are a maximum of 500 words. The web review should not exceed 750 words, and the media review should be 1000 words at the most.
All written work is to be typed (or word processed) and double spaced, with one inch margins. Although this is not an English class, your spelling and grammar do matter a great deal, for the better you communicate your historical thoughts, the better I can evaluate them. If you use citations in your work, it is to be noted in historical citation style, with footnotes or end notes, as indicated in the Chicago Manual of Style of Turabian. Remember, using the quotes or even the ideas of others without proper citation is plagarism. If you have questions about citation style, please ask. Papers not handed in during class on the due date are considered late, and will be marked down. The later they are, the more they will be marked down.
You will write two 500 word book reviews on two books of your choice that we have read in the course. They are due by May third, but can be written and handed in any time. I will hand out some sample book reviews from scholarly journals, to give an idea of what comprises a good review. Remember, you are writing for a scholarly audience. They will want to know what the book is about, how it fits into the literature, and what the strengths and weaknesses of the book are. That is a lot to squeeze into 550 words.
assignment is similar to a book review, only you have 100 words, and
reviewing either a video or museum that focuses on witchcraft in
History 912 Web Review: How to assess a web site
Your task is to go on-line on the World Wide Web and to write a detailed critique two web sites that cover the topic of history and witchcraft. Take sometime to check out a variety of sites, and find one that you like, and one that you are less fond of. In your reviews, be sure to give the site name, address, a general description of the content, and your editorial comments (why the site was effective or not, whether the information was accurate, how useful was it to our course, etc). Be sure to be critical in your analysis. Please try to pick a site that is large enough to really say something about. The assignment is due in class on February 22, approximately 750 words in length. Specifically, your review should address the following for both web sites:
What is the authority of the site?
.edu – educational
.org – tends to be non-profit organization
.com – commercial
.net – network, also commercial
.gov - government
How credible is the site?
Can you tell who is responsible for the site? Who hosts it?
Is it a personal page, or an organization’s page?
Does it give full names, and contact information?
What is the purpose of the site? Why was it created?
How current is the site information?
Can you tell when it was last updated?
Do site links work?
What accurate is the site?
Does it cite its sources?
Does it have a bibliography, or other print sources?
Are there typos or grammatical errors?
What do other people think of the site?
Has it won any awards?
How many sites link to it? (Go to google and type “link:” and the url).
Site Appearance and Layout
Is the site well organized?
Are there navigation markers throughout?
Can you easily determine where the information you want is?
Does it have an effective front page? Does it provide a good site summary?
Does it attract your attention?
Is the site visually appealing?
Does it make sensible use of graphics? Does it have excessive “noise”?
Does it load in reasonable time? Does it have consistency of design?
I. Course Outline - His 912 Fall 1998 - subject to change - please keep current
"a." readings will form the basis for class discussion for the week and are required
"b." readings are related materials that discussion leaders may want to consult, and are in general there to whet your appetites as they develop.
Jan. 25 - Introduction to the Course
- Origins: Witchcraft in Early Modern
a. Levack, Brian
Witch-hunt in Early Modern
Keith Thomas, Religion
and the Decline of Magic.
David D. Hall, " Review: Witchcraft and the Limits of Interpretation " NEQ 58, (1985): 253-81.
Feb. 8 – Popular
Religion in Puritan
a. David D. Hall, Worlds
of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular
Religious Belief in Early
b. Stephen Foster, The
Long Argument: English Puritanism and the Shaping of
- Popular Culture in Early
Bruce C. Daniels, Puritans at Play:
Leisure and Recreation in Colonial
Peter Burke, Popular Culture in Early
Feb 22 - The
Social Context of Witchcraft in Early
John P. Demos, Entertaining Satan:
Witchcraft and the Culture of Early
John Demos, A Little Commonwealth: Family
March 1 – Social Context of Witchcraft Continued
a. John P. Demos, Entertaining Satan, Parts III and IV (p. 211 to end)
b. Nicholas P. Spanos, "Witchcraft and Social History," Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 21 (1985): 60-67.
John Demos, "On 'Psychosocial' History: A Reply to Nicholas P. Spanos," Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 21 (1985): 180-1.
March 8 - Community and Causation
Boyer, Paul and Stephen Nissenbaum.
Benjamin Ray, The Geography of
Kenneth Lockridge, A
G. Allen, In
March 15 - Spring Vacation Week – No Class
March 22 - Gender and Witchcraft
Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a
Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New
Jane Kamensky, "Words, Witches, and Women Trouble: Witchcraft,
Speech, and Gender Boundaries in Puritan
Koehler, A Search for Power: The“Weaker
Sex” in Seventeenth Century
Ann Kibbey, 'Mutations of the Supernatural: Witchcraft, Remarkable Providences, and the Power of Puritan Men," American Quarterly, 34 (1982): 125-48.
March 29 - Ethnicity: Tituba and Slavery
Hansen, "The Metamorphosis of Tituba: Or Why American Intellectuals
Tell an Indian Witch from a Negro."
McMillan, "Black Magic: Witchcraft, Race, and Resistance in Colonial
C. Hoffer, The Devils's Disciples: Makers
Tituba, Reluctant Witch of
William D. Pierson, "Black Arts and Black Magic: Yankee Accomodations to African Religion," Benes, ed. Wonders of the Invisible World, 34-43.
April 5 - Ethnicity: Native Americans and the Frontier
James Kences, 'Some Unexplored
John McWilliams, "Indian John and the Northern Tawnies,"NEQ, 69 (1996):580-604.
Slotkin, Regeneration Through Violence:
The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860.
April 12 – Gender, Ethnicity and the Frontier
b. Louise Breen, Transgressing
the Bounds: Subversive Enterprises among the Puritan Elite in
- Legal Aspects of Witchcraft
David T. Konig, Law and Society in
Wendel D. "Spectral Evidence, Non-Spectral Acts of Witchcraft and
C. Brown, "The Forfeitures at
David C. Brown, "The Case of Giles Corey," Essex Institute Historical Collections, 121 (1985): 282-99.
Peter C. Hoffer, The Devils's Disciples:
Makers of the
John Murrin, "Magistrates, Sinners, and a
April 26 – Causation: Quakers, Possession, Ergot, or What?
Christine Leigh Heyrman, "Spectres of Subversion, Societies of Friends:
Dissent and the Devil in
K. Matossian, "Ergot and the
P. Spanos, "Ergotism and the
C. Zeller, "Arctic Hysteria in
G. Hall, Review of A Fever in Salem: A New Interpretation of the
England Witch Trials by Laurie Winn Carlson
b. Laurie Winn Carlson, Fever in
Mark L. "The Witches of
May 3 Witchcraft, Hauntings, and Remarkable Providences
a. Emerson Baker, The Stone-Throwing Devil of 1682: Witchcraft and Conflict on the Early New England Frontier (manuscript)
Elaine F. Crane, Killed Strangely: The
Death of Rebecca Cornell.
Blewish Lights" and a Dead Man's Groan: Tales of the Supernatural from
Eighteenth-Century Plymouth, Massachusetts
- a. Bernard Rosenthal,
b. William McGill, "The Crucible of History: Arthur Miller's John Proctor," NEQ 54 (1981): 258-64.
Bernard A. Timburg, "Patty Hearst and Mercy Short: An Analogue Critique, Journal of American Culture, 6 (1983):60-64.
Chevedden, Paul E. Chevedden, "Ushering in the Millennium, Or How an
Reversed the Past and Single-Handedly Inaugurated the End-Time," in Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies, 22. 1997. 35-67. American City
Peter Charles Hoffer, Invisible Worlds and Criminal Trials The Cases of John Proctor and O. J. Simpson
Bibliography - Even more readings in specialized interests you may develop
European Witchcraft and Magic
Marianne Hester, and Gareth Roberts, eds. Witchcraft
in Early Modern
Witches and Neighbors: The Social and
Cultural Context of European Witchcraft.
Richard. European Witch Trials: their
Foundations in Popular and Learned Culture.
of Satan: the Age of the Witch Hunts.
Carlo. The Cheese and the
Carlo. The Night Battles. Witchcraft
and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Translated by John and Anne Tedeschi.
ed. The Witchcraft Reader.
Owen. Witchcraft, Magic and Culture, 1736-1951.
Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-Century
and Ivan Bunn, A Trial of Witches: A
Seventeenth-Century Witchcraft Prosecution. Routledge:
Alan. Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart
England: a Regional and Comparative
James. Instruments of Darkness: Witchcraft in Early
James. The Bewitching of Anne Gunter: A Horrible
and True Story of Deception, Witchcraft, Murder, and the King of
Brown, David C. A Guide to the
Essex Institute, Perspectives on Witchcraft: Rethinking the Seventeenth-Century Experience. Essex Institute Historical Collections, 128(4) and 129(1), 1992-1993.
Gildrie, Richard P.
Gragg, Larry D. The
Peter C. The Devils's Disciples: Makers
Robinson, Enders. The Devil Discovered:
Starkey, Marion Lena. The
Kai. Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology
Stephen. The Long Argument:
English Puritanism and the Shaping of
Philip. A Glimpse of Sion’s Glory: Puritan
Perry. Errand into the
Morgan, Edmund S. Visible Saints: The History of a Puritan
Making Heretics: Militant Protestantism
and Free Grace in
Peter C. The
and Community in Early
Stephen. Creating Commonwealth: The Economic Culture
Daniel. Farmers and Fishermen: Two Centuries of Work
Louise. Transgressing the Bounds: Subversive
Enterprises among the Puritan Elite in
Little Commonwealth. Family Life in
Jane. Governing the Tongue: The Politics of Speech
The Puritan Family.
Boyer, Paul and Stephen Nissenbaum, eds.
Local Conflict in Colonial
Stephen Nissenbaum, eds. The
of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706.
Noble, 1914 - reprinted by
Drake, Samuel E., ed.
The Witchcraft Delusion in
ed. Witch-Hunting in Seventeenth-Century
Heinrich (1430-1505). Malleus
Malificarum. Translated with
and notes by Montague Summers.
Parris, Samuel (1653-1720).
The Sermon Notebook of Samuel
Parris, 1689-1694, edited by James F.
Trask, Richard B. "The Devil Has Been Raised”: A
Documentary History of the
Philip. Four Generations: Population,
Land, and Family in Colonial
Frederick. Profits in the
Wilderness: Entrepreneurship and the Founding of New
England Towns in the Seventeenth Century.
Roger. Divided We Stand:
Race and Ethnicity
James. The European and the
Indian: Essays in the Ethnohistory of Colonial
James. The Invasion Within.
Elaine. Tituba, Reluctant Witch of
Beth. Founding Mothers and Fathers: Gendered
Power and the Forming of American Society.
Roger. Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a
Laurel. Goodwives: Image and
reality in the Lives of Women in
Magic and the Occult
Wonders of the Invisible
World:Proceedings of the
Richard. Magic in the Middle Ages.
The Devil's Dominion: Magic
and Religion in Early
Stephen. The Magical Universe: Everyday Ritual and
Magic in Pre-Modern
Character of the Good Ruler: A Study of Puritan Political Ideas in
R. Adjustment to Empire: The
Lovejoy, David. The Glorious Revolution in
Material Culture and Popular Culture
David. Agnes Bowker’s Cat: Travesties and
Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England.
M. "Witchcraft Pictographs Near
Ronald. The Rise and Fall of Merry
Ralph. The Archaeology of Ritual and
Barry ed. Popular Culture in Seventeenth-Century
George, Conversion by Signs: Poetics of
Implication in Colonial
Revel, Riot and Rebellion: Popular
Politics and Culture in
Dekker, Thomas, with John Ford and William Rowley.
Marlowe, Christopher. Dr. Faustus. 1604.
Middleton, Thomas. The Witch. 1609. On line at: www.tech.org/~cleary/witch.html
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. 1605.
Garry. Witches and Jesuits: Shakespeare's
World Wide Web Sites
Salem Witch Trials and Documentary Archive, at University of Virgina’s E-Text Center http://etext.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/home.html
Colonial New England with Special Emphasis on the Essex
The Goody Parsons Witchcraft Case: A Journey to Seventeenth-Century Northhampton
Three Soverigns for Sarah
Days of Judgement
Museums and Exhibits
Rebecca Nurse Homestead,
Real Witchcraft Papers -