Bell, Book & Camera: Witchcraft in Popular Culture


Course description

If asked to name a famous witch, who pops to mind: Maleficent? Glinda? Samantha? Hermione? While the answer likely depends on your age, odds are good the name comes from popular culture.

While the Harry Potter series may be the best-known current example, representations of witchcraft go back to the earliest days of European mass culture—to the first performance of Macbeth in the early 1600s, no less. But why have representations of witchcraft thrived over the centuries, while actual witches were being executed, persecuted, and literally demonized? How accurate are these cultural images, and how do they relate to the actual history of witchcraft?

Lift the lid off the pop-culture cauldron and get an insider’s view with this survey course examining the often-contradictory portrayal of witchcraft over the past 400 years. You are guaranteed to never look at a broom the same way again! 

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RELATED TO: Art History