Witchcraft and Magic in Pre-Modern Europe (HIS4104.01)

Carol Pal

What is magic? What is a witch? Who is a witch? And in the increasingly rational culture of Europe after the Renaissance, how and why did nearly 100,000 people – predominantly women – come to be tried for the crime of witchcraft? In many ways, the investigation of these questions hangs on another question: how do we differentiate science, magic, and religion? In premodern Europe, there were no clear boundaries separating these ways of knowing. This course investigates these questions, mapping them onto the interplay of old and new ideas about magic, alchemy, gender, the heavens, and the occult in premodern Europe.

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: 1 course in History. Interested students should email Carol Pal (cpal@bennington.edu) between May 9th and May 12th with Witchcraft and Magic in the subject line. Include a few sentences to tell me: (1) how you meet the prerequisite; and (2) how this course fits into your Plan. Enrollment in this class will be made on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the information in your email.
Credits: 4
W 2:10pm - 6:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Carol Pal, Four Credit, History, Wednesday Afternoons.