Spellbound

Overview

Spellbound: Women and Witchcraft in America is a collection of twelve articles that explore crucial events in the history of witch-hunting and its demonization of women in American and American women's own use of witchcraft as a source of identity and strength, as well as the complicated relationship between the two. Beginning with the accused 'witches' of colonial America, Spellbound extends its focus through the nineteenth century to explore women's involvement with alternative spiritualities, and culminates ...

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Overview

Spellbound: Women and Witchcraft in America is a collection of twelve articles that explore crucial events in the history of witch-hunting and its demonization of women in American and American women's own use of witchcraft as a source of identity and strength, as well as the complicated relationship between the two. Beginning with the accused 'witches' of colonial America, Spellbound extends its focus through the nineteenth century to explore women's involvement with alternative spiritualities, and culminates with examinations of the contemporary feminist neopagan and Goddess movements.

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Editorial Reviews

Women and Criminal Justice
This collection of essays is a thorough and enlightening presentation of what has been and what continues to be the state of the powerful woman in American society.
Journal Of Women's History
This is an important collection for scholars interested in women's, religious, and Native American history, as well as American history in general.
R. Marie Griffith
Spellbound is the first serious attempt to trace the history of the witch and analyze the politics of witchcraft at diverse cultural moments in American history. Experts present compelling arguments for the gendered, racialized nature of witch persecutions and finely illuminate contemporary appropriations of magic and witchcraft. This admirable volume is a significant contribution not only to the comparative study of witchcraft but to the historians, ethnographers, and general readers alike.
Bryan F. Le Beau
From the very beginning of American history, people have used the term 'witch' to identify particular groups in society, usually women, sometimes in fun, but more often with intent to do harm. Americans have wielded it to isolate, denigrate, demonize, and ultimately destroy those whose ideas and/or actions threaten, or are perceived to threaten, conventional wisdom. Spellbound helps us better understand this phenomenon. Essays by leading scholars show how changes in our definition of 'witch' reflect changes in our perception of women's roles in American society. Spellbound is an excellent addition to the literature on the role of gender in American history.
Journal of Women's History
This is an important collection for scholars interested in women's, religious, and Native American history, as well as American history in general.
Midwest Book Review
Informative and engaging.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842025775
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 1/28/1998
  • Series: Worlds of Women Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Reis teaches history and women's studies at the University of Oregon. She is the author of Damned Women: Sinners and Witches in Puritan New England (1997).

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Economic Basis of Witchcraft Chapter 2 Female Speech and Other Demons: Witchcraft and Wordcraft in Early New England Chapter 3 Gender and the Meanings of Confession in Early New England Chapter 4 Dark Eve Chapter 5 "The Devil Will Roar in Me Anon": The Possession of Martha Roberson, Boston, 1741 Chapter 6 Seneca Possessed: Colonialism, Witchcraft, and Gender in the Time of Handsome Lake Chapter 7 Sojourner Truth's Religion in Her Moment of Pentecostalism and Witchcraft Chapter 8 "Hoodoo? God Do": African American Women and Contested Spirituality in the Spiritual Churches of New Orleans Chapter 9 Red Lilac of the Cayugas: Traditional Indian Laws and Culture Conflict in a Witchcraft Trial in Buffalo, New York, 1930 Chapter 10 Witchcraft as Goddess Religion Chapter 11 Affinities and Appropriations in Feminist Spirituality Chapter 12 In Whose Image? Misogynist Trends in the Construction of Goddess and Woman

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