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The following discussion concerning resources about witches took place on
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Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 13:40:14 +0200
From: "Cristina Garrigós" <dfmcgg AT UNILEON.ES>
Subject: witches
I have a comparative literature student who is interested in working on
witches for a paper. Any idea anyone on good works (even in other
countries apart from the US) that portray witches? Thanks.

Cristina Garrigós
dfmcgg  AT  unileon.es
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 08:57:20 -0400
From: Susan Clark-Cook <SCLARK AT BENTLEY.EDU>
Subject: Re: witches
What an interesting topic!  As it happens, I am a witch/Wiccans she want 
fiction or non?  I also have some great resources that I can ask and would 
be glad to forward this on.  You can back channel me if you have more 
questions and let me know if you want me to give this info on the list or 
just to you.
Susan (Willow Phoenix-witchy name!)

 "For if the mind can imagine it, the mind can make it so..."

 Dr. Susan Clark-Cook
 Clinical Psychologist
 Counseling and Student Development
 Adjunct Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Political Science
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 09:45:47 -0500
From: - Kathleen King <kathleen_king AT UND.NODAK.EDU>
Subject: Re: witches
Hi, I guess it depends on how she is defining "witches".  Isabel 
Allende's _House of the Spirits_ comes to mind, but would the 
clairvoyants qualify as "witches"?  
Alice Hoffman's _Practical Magic_ clearly has "witches" in it, and a 
more recent book of hers -- I'm digging for the title in my head, 
here -- I think it's Probable Future -- again has one generation of 
women after another passing down genetic e.s.p. gifts.    Hmm... 
interesting that all three examples depict generations of women 
passing along their special abilities.  I'm sure there are many more 

Kathy Coudle King
Sr. Lecturer - English & Women Studies
University of North Dakota
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 12:09:29 -0400
From: Rudy Leon <leonre AT POTSDAM.EDU>
Subject: Re: witches
Off the top of my head...

Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart mentions witches, doesn't it?
And there is also Starhawk's Fifth Sacred Thing
And Gregory Maguire's Wicked
Ann Rice's Mayfair Witches series
*Witches* of Eastwick
Dune (Bene Gessereit are witches)
Barbara Walkers (awful) Amazon

Are you looking for a particular genre or time period?

Rudy Leon
Collection Development & Instruction Librarian
College Libraries   SUNY Potsdam                  
leonre  AT  potsdam.edu
44 Pierrepont Avenue          
Potsdam, NY 13676-2294 
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 09:10:20 -0700
From: Betty J Glass <glass AT UNR.EDU>
Subject: Re: witches
Elizabeth George Speare's "The Witch of Blackbird
Pond" is an award-winning young adult novel that was published in

It is set in a 17th century Puritan colony in
what is now the state of Connecticut.

(Newbery Medal winner and ALA Notable Children's

That might be one of the books your student
uses, if the project includes literature involving past persecutions of
suspected witches.

There are many novels. Several focus on Tituba,
the servant in Salem who was involved in the witch scare/trials.

Betty J. Glass
Resource Analysis & Support Librarian
Getchell Library/322
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89557-0044

glass  AT  unr.edu
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 11:56:17 -0400
From: Hagolem <hagolem AT C4.NET>
Subject: Re: witches
Clairvoyants and psychics do not qualify as witches.

I remember many years ago reading Margaret Murray's GOD OF THE WITCHES.  I
think it is still findable.

marge piercy
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 11:12:24 -0700
From: Betty J Glass <glass AT UNR.EDU>
Subject: other "witch" fiction suggestions
Here are some other novels about witches:
Record 1 of 5
AUTHOR       Maguire, Gregory.
TITLE        Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
PUBL INFO    New York : ReganBooks, 2000.
SUMMARY      "When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West
in L. 
Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what
about her archnemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from?
How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?" 
ISBN    0060987103.

Record 2 of 5
AUTHOR       Lander, Leena, 1955-
TITLE        Lankeaa pitka varjo. English.
TITLE        Cast a long shadow / Leena 
PUBL INFO    Toronto, Canada : Second Story Press, c1995.
SUBJECT      Trials (Witchcraft) -- Finland -- History -- 17th century 
SUMMARY      In the final decades of the twentieth century, a writer
contemplates her protagonist, Judge Nils Pilsander. In a series of
trials conducted in Finland in the 1660s, Pilsander condemned seven
innocent women to death for witchcraft. Author Leena Lander uses her
shadow-           author's own increasing self-doubt to call into
question easy              notions of innocence and guilt, bringing to
life the story of Northern Europe's most infamous witch hunt
ISBN    092900566X.

Record 3 of 5
AUTHOR       Conde, Maryse.
TITLE        I, Tituba, Black witch of Salem / Maryse Conde ; translated
by Richard Philcox ; foreword by Angela Y. Davis 
PUBL INFO    Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1992.
NOTE         Translation of: Moi, Tituba, sorciere.
SUMMARY      Offered here for the first time in English is I, Tituba
Witch of Salem, by Guadeloupean writer Maryse Conde. This wild and
entertaining novel, winner of the 1986 Grand Prix Litteraire de la
Femme, expands on the true story of the West Indian slave Tituba, who
was accused of witchcraft in Salem, 
ISBN    0813913985

Record 4 of 5
AUTHOR       Norton, Andre.
TITLE        The gates to witch world : comprising Witch world, Web of
               witch world, and Year of the Unicorn PUBL INFO    New
York : Tor, 2001.
SUBJECT      Witch World (Imaginary place) -- Fiction.
SUMMARY       "Drawing on the mythological studies of Joseph Campbell
and on sources both historical and literary, this is a new take on the
story of Camelot's most famous knight
ISBN    0765301180 (alk. paper)

Record 5 of 5
AUTHOR       Earhart, Rose.
TITLE        Dorcas Good : the diary of a Salem witch / by Rose Earhart.
PUBL INFO    New York, NY : Pendleton Books, c2000.
DESCRIPT     376 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
ISBN    1893221024 (pbk.) : $12.95
 Also, there's Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Mists of Avalon," involving
the "Old Religion" 
Betty J. Glass
Resource Analysis & Support Librarian
Getchell Library/322
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89557-0044
glass  AT  unr.edu
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 11:18:37 -0700
From: "Jabbra, Dr. Nancy" <njabbra AT LMU.EDU>
Subject: witches
>From my graduate student days in anthropology, I recall the following:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, oracles, and magic among the Azande.
Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1937.
S. F. Nadel, A Black Byzantium.  London (no publisher given in the
source I consulted), 1942.
_____, Nupe Religion.  Glencoe, The Free Press, 1954.
The Azande (or Zande) are an indigenous people of the Sudan.  The Nupe,
featured in Nadel's books, are an indigenous people of Nigeria.  These
works describe witchcraft beliefs and practices in the two societies.
Nancy Jabbra, njabbra  AT  lmu.edu, Loyola Marymount University.
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 15:19:18 -0400
From: Mary Lynn Hopps <ml.hopps AT VERIZON.NET>
Subject: Re: witches
There is an historical reader "Witches of the
Atlantic World, ed. Elaine G. Breslaw, published in 2000; also Susanna Clarke's
novel of last year "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell"

Also, several texts by Ann Moura and Rae Beth
are useful.

Mary Lynn W. Hopps
Director, W.I.L.L. Program
The College of New Jersey
Ewing, New Jersey
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 13:49:09 -0700
From: Max Dashu <maxdashu AT LMI.NET>
Subject: Re: witches
Here are some sources I've found helpful in my research on this subject.
(Some excerpts from my own work are online at
http://www.suppressedhistories.net/articles/articles.html --scroll down a

The first two titles below are the best anthologies I've found, and give a
broader-than-usual geographic picture of the witch hunts.

ed, Henningsen, G, and Ankarloo, B, Early Modern European Witchcraft:
Centres and Peripheries, Oxford, 1988

Muchembled, Robert, ed, Magie et Sorcellerie en Europe du Moyen Age a Nos
Jours,	Armand Colin, Paris, 1994

This one is old, but still offers a fascinating glimpse of folk witchcraft
themes as well as the sexual politics of persecution:
Cirac Estopa±ßn, Sebastian, Los Procesos de hechicerøa en la Inquisicion de
Castilla la Nueva, Sebastian Cirac Estopa±an, Madrid, 1942

Barandiaran's folk tradition studies are rich in information about Andra
Mari, the Basque goddess (seen as a goddess of the witches) as well as other
pagan beliefs:
Barandiaran, Jose M. de, Mitologøa Vasca, Editorial Txertoa, San Sebastian,

Rich folkloric info also in the Italian sources, such as:
Bonomo, Giuseppe, Caccia alle Streghe: La Credenza nelle Streghe dall secolo
XIII al XIX con particolare referimento all'Italia, Palumbo, 1959

as well as political views of class and gender dynamics:
Parinetto, Luciano, Streghe e Politica: Dal Rinascimento Italiano a
Montaigne, da Bodin a 	NaudT, Istituto Propaganda Libraria, Milan, 1983

The below is a very important book, looking at the intersection of Indian,
African and Portuguese religions and how the Brazilian Inquisition
persecuted them, with some great material on African priestesses
(calundureiras) in the 18th century:
de Mello e Souza, Laura, O Diablo e a Terra de Santa Cruz: Feititaria e
Religiosidade Popular no Brasil Colonial, Companhia das Letras, Spo Paolo,

In English, this book is online and contains info on the little-discussed
medieval witch persecution laws (for Spain):
Dillard, Heath, Daughters of the Reconquest: Women in Castilian Town
Society, 1100-1300, Library of Iberian Resources, [Online]

U.S. students are often interested in the Salem craze because that's what
they have read about, or seen in films.  The best book on the Anglo-American
witch hunts is
Carol Karlsen, The  Devil in the Shape of a Woman. This excellent study
looks at gender and class dynamics in the persecutions, as well as the
impact of the "Indian Wars," and by the way shows that more "witches" were
executed in Connecticut, earlier in the 17th century, than at Salem -- but
not all in one hunt.

Karlsen, Carol, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial
New England, WW Norton, 1988

More sexual politics:
Brauner, Sigrid, Fearless Wives and Frightened Shrews: The Construction of
the Witch in Early Modern Germany, U of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1995

And specifically about the targeting of lesbians:
Robson, Ruthann, "Legal Lesbicide," in Femicide: The Politics of Woman
Killing, Twayne Publishers, NY 1992

For those interested in doing an event on this subject, several slide
lectures in the Suppressed Histories Series are available for booking:

Witches and Pagans (European folk culture)
Origins of the Witch Hunts (from Roman times to the Reformation)
Witch Hunts: the Terror (1500-1720)
Max Dashu
Suppressed Histories Archives
Global Women's History
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 15:56:55 -0500
From: Janice A. Moran <jamoran AT earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: witches
  Here is another book that examines the European witch
hunts and posits that the witch hunts are part of the roots of violence against
Barstow, Anne Llewellyn. Witchcraze: A New
History of the European Witch Hunts. San Francisco: Pandora, 1995.

Janice A. Moran
jamoran  AT  earthlink.net
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 17:25:58 -0400
From: Daphne Patai <daphne.patai AT SPANPORT.UMASS.EDU>
Subject: Re: witches
If you want history and not myth, try Robin Briggs's book (1996) "Witches
and Neighbours: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft," in
which he goes over the data very carefully, argues that current beliefs that
9 millions women were burned as witches is way off (the numbers he provides
are around 50,000 over several centuries), and shows that of those executed,
20 to 25% were men.

Below is a link to a review of Briggs' work.


Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 22:51:09 -0700
From: Max Dashu <maxdashu AT LMI.NET>
Subject: Re: witches
Briggs has mythological baggage of his own. On which see my 1998 review of
his book at
http://www.suppressedhistories.net/secrethistory/briggs.html , which
questions the alleged carefulness of his data. He totally ignores the
Italian scholarship, for example, which contradicts some of his
generalizations about the chronology and geography of the persecutions.

> If you want history and not myth, try Robin Briggs's book (1996) "Witches
> and Neighbours: The Social and Cultural Context of European Witchcraft,"
> in which he goes over the data very carefully, argues that current beliefs
> that 9 millions women were burned as witches is way off (the numbers he
> provides are around 50,000 over several centuries), and shows that of
> those executed, 20 to 25% were men.

Nothing new there, though current estimates range from a low of 20,000 up to
200,000. The nine million has become a folk belief, but this should not be
confused with what feminist scholars are saying.

Max Dashu
Suppressed Histories Archives
Global Women's History
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2005 17:52:59 EDT
From: Christine Dilkes. <CDilkes AT WMCONNECT.COM>
Subject: Re: witches

I would recommend as a start A History of Witchcraft by Jeffrey Russell, 
Spiral Dance by Starhawk, Drawing Down the Moon by Adler, and Living in the Lap of 
the Goddess by Cynthia Eller.  I would also suggest the movie Bell, Book and 
Candle (an older movie, but good for interrogating stereotypes).


Christine Dilkes
cdilkes  AT  wmconnect.com
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 02:04:57 -0400
From: Judith Lorber <jlorber AT RCN.COM>
Subject: witches
Some recent studies --

Behringer, Wolfgang. 2004. Witches and Witch-Hunts. Cambridge, UK: Polity

Berger,  Helen A. 1999.
3-0766758-4915051> A Community of Witches: Contemporary Neo-Paganism and
Witchcraft in the United States. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina

Berger, Helen A. (ed.). 2005. Witchcraft and Magic: Contemporary North
America Philadelphia:University of Pennsylvania Press.

Briggs, Robin. 1996. Witches & Neighbors: The Social and Cultural Context of
European Witchcraft. New York: Viking Penguin. 

Cawthorne, Nigel. 2004. Witch Hunt: History of a Persecution. Chartwell

Gaskill, Malcolm. 2005. Witchfinders. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University

Judith Lorber, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita
Brooklyn College and Graduate School, CUNY
Email: jlorber  AT  rcn.com

Why isn't "strict scrutiny" the criterion for gender discrimination as it is
for race and ethnicity?
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 08:18:51 -0400
From: Daphne Patai <daphne.patai AT SPANPORT.UMASS.EDU>
Subject: Re: witches
Well, the "folk myth" and the totally fantastic high numbers of victims are
stated seriously in Ehrenreich's much-used work on witches, and  in The
Burning Times, the film, and gets repeated constantly, along with other
misinformation.  I wonder how many of our students believe it and repeat it.
The argument is not just about numbers, however, but about the nature of
witchcraft charges, the causes, the culprits, etc.

Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 09:18:22 -0400
From: Claire Kaplan <cnk2r AT VIRGINIA.EDU>
Subject: Witches, con't.
If this student is interested in non-print media, I strongly recommend
looking at years 4-6 (and possibly 7, though I haven't seen it yet) of Buffy
the Vampire Slayer.  Her best friend, Willow, is a witch with increasing
powers.  Her partner, Tara, is also a witch.  The shows which focus on them
address witchcraft's roots in powers of healing and doing good, and what can
happen when it goes very very bad--which it does, of course, because this is
the Buffy show.  Most of it is silly and fantasy, but at its core, the issue
is well presented.

Claire N. Kaplan, Ph.D.
Director, Sexual and Domestic Violence Services
UVA Women's Center
P.O. Box 800588
Charlottesville VA 22908-0588
ckaplan  AT  virginia.edu
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 10:14:56 -0400
From: Sheila.Hughes AT NOTES.UDAYTON.EDU
Subject: Re: witches
Leslie Marmon Silko presents witches from an American Indian perspective 
in one or more of the stories in Storyteller.  They are white (possibly 
male? ... can't recall the details) and bent on destruction.  Witchery, 
she has said, is rooted in opposition to the creative.  Might make for 
some interesting cross-cultural comparison.

Sheila Hassell Hughes
Director of Women's Studies
Associate Professor of English
University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-0322
sheila.hughes  AT  notes.udayton.edu
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 10:34:32 -0400
From: Gaile Pohlhaus <gaile.pohlhaus AT villanova.edu>
Subject: Re: Witches, con't.
I strongly urge you to examine the website
http://www.malleusmaleficarum.org/  for a medieval view of this subject.  It
should not be overlooked.
Gaile M. Pohlhaus
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 10:53:22 -0700
From: Priscilla Stuckey <pstuckey AT CALIFORNIA.COM>
Subject: Re: witches
If you're looking for ethnography, a solid one is Jone Salomonsen,
_Enchanted Feminism: Ritual, Gender and Divinity among the Reclaiming
Witches of San Francisco_ (Routledge, 2002).

Priscilla Stuckey
pstuckey  AT  california.com
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 10:55:28 -0400
Subject: Re: witches
Navaho and Pueblo witches aren't always white or male.
They are people who have done forbidden things (such as practicing cannibalism)
in order to gain forbidden powers.  I'm not sure about differences between
Navaho and Pueblo concepts of witches, and Silko is Laguna Pueblo, but her
concept seems similar to the Navaho concepts, with which I'm a little more
familiar.  In *Ceremony* the destructive characters - who are Indian - behave
like witches.


M. Charlene Ball, Ph.D., Academic Professional
Women's Studies Institute
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3969
Atlanta, GA  30302-3969
Atlanta, GA   30303-3083
mcharleneball  AT  gsu.edu
Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 09:19:36 -0600
From: Fiona MacGregor <fmacgreg AT UCALGARY.CA>
Subject: Re: witches
THere is also

1. the Pomegranate - The International journal of pagan studies through
Equinox press - http://www.equinoxpub.com/journals/main.asp?jref=51
You can find back issues on the web.

2. NATREL (Nature Religions) list at U Colorado. Many academic pagan
authors are on this list.

3. Ronald Hutton's book "Truimph of the Moon" is an excellent thick 
historical analysis of Wicca in Britian

4. Carol P. Christ recently edited a book, I can't remember the name
...Daughters of the Goddess maybe > Some recent studies --

The American Religious Studies conference also has a pagan track with papers.

Fiona MacGregor
University of Calgary
fmacgreg  AT  ucalgary.ca

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