Folk Belief And The Witch-Hunts HIST3001

  • Academic Session: 2015-16
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Course Aims

The principal aims of this course are:
- to explore the role of the supernatural and witch belief in Europe, North America and Africa;
- to examine the intellectual and folk attitudes towards witchcraft and belief in the supernatural, past and present;
- to investigate the uniqueness of individual witch persecutions through such criteria as gender, age, social status and regional differences;
- to examine the legal developments and political conditions that allowed witch persecutions to take place;
- to develop and utilise various methodological approaches towards the study of mindsets, worldview, popular culture and belief.

Timetable

Lectures 2 hours a week
Seminars 1 hour a week

Requirements of Entry

Completion of one History level 2 course at Band D or better, or one Economic and Social History level 2 course at Band D or better

Assessment

Primary Source Analysis 10% (students will write approx 1500 words on a primary source extract. The source may be a text or a visual representation)
Essay 20% (students will write approx 3000 words)
Students will write a draft exam paper 10%
Seminars 20% (students will be assessed on an in-class oral presentation worth 10% and participation in seminars throughout the semester 10%
Final Exam 40%

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

The principal aims of this course are:
- to explore the role of the supernatural and witch belief in Europe, North America and Africa;
- to examine the intellectual and folk attitudes towards witchcraft and belief in the supernatural, past and present;
- to investigate the uniqueness of individual witch persecutions through such criteria as gender, age, social status and regional differences;
- to examine the legal developments and political conditions that allowed witch persecutions to take place;
- to develop and utilise various methodological approaches towards the study of mindsets, worldview, popular culture and belief.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completion of the course the student,

(1) will be able to discuss and evaluate the historical roots, cuases and eventual decline in witch-hunting
(2) will have learned, through set assignments, how to engage in a high level of scholarly debate and critical analysis of the topic and how to present arguments both in essay assignments and through seminar discussions
(3) will write clear, concise and analytical essays, making effective use of primary and secondary source materials
(4) [Gilmorehill students only] will be able to devise appropriate essay/exam questions for the course, of a type suitable for senior school use.