Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

Speak of the Devil: Teaching Histories of the Supernatural

Lead Scholar: Michelle Brock (Associate Professor of History, Washington and Lee University)

October 26, 2021

Few subjects are more fascinating than the supernatural. Popular culture is suffused with images of demons, witches, werewolves, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night. These figures have long, complicated histories that are deeply intertwined with issues of religion, gender, politics, art, and more. But how do we approach something as elusive as belief in super- and preternatural beings? This webinar uses the histories of two figures that loom large in our collective imagination—the devil and the witch—to demonstrate how explorations of the supernatural offer unique opportunities for students to engage with difficult yet essential questions about knowledge, power, and human nature.

Subjects: History; Religion; Supernatural; Satan; Occult; Witchcraft