School of History

HST6215 - Witches, Demons and Magic in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Module code: HST6215

Credits: 15
Semester: SEM 2

Module Convenor: Professor Miri Rubin

The central theme of this QMUL Model module is the 'supernatural' in the early modern world. The module will explore beliefs in witches, demons and magic, and phenomena such as angels, ghosts, dreams and miracles using case studies from a range of European countries across the period 1450 - 1750. It will investigate the interplay between popular and elite ideas about witchcraft and magic and how these changed over the course of the period. Topics will include: witchcraft, sabbats, the diabolic pact and black magic; witch trials, torture and execution; demonic possession and exorcism; angels, ghosts and fairies; and monsters and miracles. Students will be given the opportunity to discuss a range of textual and visual primary sources including woodcuts, witchcraft trials, popular pamphlets and official treatises (all in translation). Students will model a holistic approach to the study of the 'supernatural' in the early modern world, and reflect on the meanings that witchcraft and the supernatural continue to hold in the modern world.

Assessment: Presentation (5 minutes) [10%], Source Analysis (1,000 words) [25%] and Essay (2,500 words) [65%]
Level: 6