Reading & Composition
Witches from the Graveyard to the Village Square
This course will explore the construction of gender and the occult, considering the witch from the perspectives of different races and genders, cultures, time periods, and languages. How does the witch transgress boundaries and norms across different cultures? Where is she in possession of power, and where is her agency precluded? How do transgressive readings of witches undermine simplistic moral dichotomies of good and evil? We will address these questions and others while reading across a range of eras and genres, including excerpts from the Malleus Maleficarum and texts from Montaigne, Angela Carter, and Helen Oyeyemi. We will also view and discuss stagings of La Sylphide, as well as the horror film The Witch.
This is a Reading & Composition course, and our main objective will be to develop critical reading and writing skills. To that end, substantial class time will be devoted to writing workshops and peer reviews. In addition to completing frequent essay assignments and revisions, students will be expected to read up to 100 pages of literary and scholarly texts each week, and to participate actively in class and in small group discussions.