GERM-043 Witches in History, Myth and Fiction (taught in English)
I. Course Goals:
This Gateway course serves as the second of two required Humanities and Writing Courses. The overall goal is to further improve and refine students’ writing skills with particular emphasis on writing within an academic context. In addition to interpreting primary sources from the fields of history and literature/film, students will be exposed to secondary literature on the course topic. Reading, analyzing, and responding to critical and theoretical essays, with careful attention to the specific features of analytic language will enable students to successfully produce a final research paper.
The course employs a process writing approach that makes use of multiple revisions for each assignment.
With this strong writing focus as its basis, this course will thus
• hone students' critical and interpretive skills by exposing them to a variety of materials (historical, literary, cinematic, documentary, and scholarly sources)
• improve students' style and fluency in critical writing in a variety of writing assignments with an emphasis on academic genres
• critically engage, in discussions and in writing, four issues that can be seen as central to a Humanities course, particularly one at Georgetown University:
(1) interdisciplinarity, (2) contextualization in history, (3) Catholic/Jesuit identity, and (4) the "human experience."
II. Course Content:
The course investigates what is clearly one of the most disturbing and inexplicable occurrences in human history. Unlike the Holocaust, to which the witch hunts are frequently compared, the persecution of witches cannot be viewed as a relatively brief and unusually violent historical anomaly, since it continued over several hundred years; they cannot be explained in the context of national specificity since they spanned almost the entire European continent and migrated to early America; nor can these events be blamed on any single "madman" (Hitler). As a historical phenomenon, the witch persecution defies simplistic explanations and thus lends itself particularly well to the kinds of investigation this course intends.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: