Full course description
Are you a fan of the Harry Potter book series? Our new course The History of Magic: From Alchemy to Witchcraft starts in the fictional school of wizardry, Hogwarts, then quickly moves beyond the realm of literary imagination to a place where we explore magic in a larger historical and cultural context.
As a class, we will examine historical primary sources such as: The Ripley Scroll, Documents from the Salem Witch Trials, and Folklore from around the world. We will take a deeper look at
- Magical Creatures: Mapping Concepts of the Monstrous Abroad
- Herbology: Poisons and Political Intrigue
- Divination: Psychics and Conspiracies Theories in Historical Perspective
- Alchemy: Gold & the History of Human Greed
- Astrology: From Origins of Celestial Navigation to the Y2K Controversy
- Defense Against the Dark Arts: Witchcraft and the Feminine
Let’s explore together how human perceptions of magic have shaped the world in which we live today.