• Where Witches Were Men: Magic in Early Modern Russia

    by Valerie Kivelson

    In Orthodox Russia, unlike Catholic and Protestant western Europe, the nature of hierarchy and power meant that the majority of people accused of witchcraft were men, and the popular image of a witch was male. 

  • Scotland to Pardon Thousands Executed as Witches

    "Until the Witchcraft Act was repealed in 1735, some 3,837 people were accused of the crime—the overwhelming majority of them women—with some two-thirds executed, more per head of population than anywhere else in Europe."

  • Writing Histories of Witchcraft in a Pandemic

    by Richard Tomzcak

    A course on witch trials, run remotely due to the pandemic, offered a chance to push students to examine new sources, write for the public, and consider how historical subjects acted in a climate of fear and suspicion not entirely different from our own.

  • When Democracy Ails, Magic Thrives

    by Samuel Clowes-Huneke

    A new book by historian Monica Black suggests that the irrational was never absent from the postwar order—and, moreover, that florid eruptions of mystical thinking often accompany periods of extreme political upheaval. 

  • On Sex with Demons

    by Eleanor Janega

    "The idea of having sex with demons or the devil... has a long and proud history. A concern about sleep sex demons traces at least as far back as Mesopotamian myth where we see the hero Gilgamesh’s father recorded on the Sumerian King List as Lilu, a demon who targets sleeping women, in 2400 BC."