The College of New Jersey

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Fall 2019 LIT 499-06

The Witches of Salem 1692
Professor: Michele Tarter
Meetings: Wednesday 8-10:50am

This seminar will focus on the most notorious witch hunt of America: Salem 1692. Looking at a plethora of archival and literary sources—ranging from pamphlets of “Wonders” and “Strange Occurrences,” sermons and court trial records, accusations and confessions,  and many perplexing, fascinating manuscript diaries and letters—we will explore the multiple meanings of witchcraft in this early American village. Our class will delve into the primary texts preserved from this cultural phenomenon, and then study the ever-growing interdisciplinary scholarship that theorizes and illuminates this colonial community’s hysteria, rooted in its own beliefs about gender, sexuality, race and class.