HIS 135 Wondrous Strange

Prerequisite: None

Witches and heretics, religious prophets and confidence men, Indian captives and murdering mothers, cat massacres and slave conspiracies; these are the subjects of "microhistory," a distinctive approach to the study of the past that seeks to reveal broader forces of historical change through detailed stories of obscure individuals and seemingly bizarre events. In this seminar, students will read and analyze a diverse and challenging array of eighteenth-and nineteenth-century primary texts—letters and sermons, court records, and tax lists—while also learning how scholars research and write these gripping historical narratives. Finally, students will try their hand at crafting a microhistory of their own about a forgotten witchcraft crisis that rocked colonial America just after the infamous Salem trials. Western History Perspective.


1 Course Credit