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The Supernatural: A Global History: Home

Guide to exploring various manifestations of, and encounters with, the supernatural across time and in many parts of the world.

Suggested Search Terms - Try these in the catalog or the databases

Astrology

   Jewish astrology

   Maya astrology

   Tantric astrology

Cryptozoology

   --Australia

   --Florida

   --New Jersey

   --New Zealand

   --Northwest, Pacific

   --United States

   --West Virginia

   Massachusetts--Dover--History--20th century

Folklore

   Folk literature

   Folk music

   Geographical myths

   Grail

   Intercultural communication in folklore

   Superstition

   Symbolism in folklore

   Traditional medicine

   Urban folklore

Glossolalia

   --Appalacian Region, Southern

   --Brazil

History of British Folklore

New Age movement

Occult, The or Occultism

   Alchemy

   Divination

   Fortune-telling

   Haunted places

   Islamic occultism

   Magic*

   Satanism

Parapsychology

Shamanism

   --Africa

   --Alaska

   --Brazil

   --China

   --Indonesia

   --Korea (South)

Snake cults (Holiness churches)

   Handling of Snakes (Holiness Churches)

   Serpent handling (Holiness Churches)

Spiritualism 

   Channeling

   Guides (Spiritualism)

   Levitation

   Literature and spiritualism

   Ouija board

   Seances

   Spirit photography

   Spiritual healing and spiritualism

   Xenoglossy

Vampires

   Ghouls and orges

      --Europe, Central

      --Folklore

      --Japan

      --Kenya

      --Korea

   Lesbian vampires

Witchcraft

   Amulets

   Trials (Witchcraft)

   Wicca

   Wicca--History

 

 *Using the search term "magic" alone will mostly yield results about magic tricks and magicians, not magic as it is thought to be practiced by witches or occultists.

Welcome

HISTORY 499 "The Supernatural: A Global History" Professor Monica Black

Interpreting signs, miracles, dreams, and visions; encounters with spirits of the dead, witches, goblins, and werewolves; the practices of shamanism, magic, the seance, and the laying on of hands: in this seminar, we will explore various manifestations of and encounters with the supernatural across time and around the globe. Our work together in the course will focus on a number of crucial questions. How have supernatural phenomena been interpreted and understood in various historical cultures? Through what practices have people drawn on - or sought to ameliorate - the power of the supernatural? How have people distinguished religion from magic, and knowledge from superstition, in different historical cultures? Does the term "supernatural" even make sense—and if so, what does it mean? Is it meaningful only in “Western” societies or does it have broader applications? How can folklore and fantasy, which have often been excluded as legitimate sources for knowing about past societies, actually help us understand a great deal about those societies? And perhaps most important, what has been the effect of supernatural experiences and beliefs on history in a wider sense? Visionary cults, portents, demons and exorcism, witchcraft, ghost stories, magic, snake handling - these topics and many, many others are open to you as possible themes for research papers.

About This Guide

History and Medieval Studies Librarian

Shaina Destine's picture
Shaina Destine
Contact:
Hodges Library
Subjects:History

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