Mondays & Wednesdays 11:15 am -12:10 pm Online Synchronous
+ Fridays Online Asynchronous
Dr. Erika Gasser
This course focuses on the Salem/Essex County, Massachusetts witchcraft trials in 1692.
In addition, the course will examine how members of orthodox religious groups struggled over the meaning of the supernatural with religious radicals who migrated to America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Students will consider how perceptions of the preternatural in general, and witchcraft in particular, revealed the hopes and fears of those who coexisted uneasily in colonial America. In addition, students will analyze the phenomenon of conspiratorial thinking, both to determine whether such thinking factored in Salem and to evaluate patterns of modern conspiracy theories about issues in the past and present.