Working Title:

Witcraft: A Prosecution of Gender

This paper seeks to explore the background of witchcraft as a religion in Europe (1500s to 1600s), the eventual prosecution of those practicing or accused of practicing witchcraft, and how women were primarily targeted.  Pulling from the sources listed below, I hope to explore how historians have approached this topic through feminist and gendered methods.  I hope to determine whether utilizing a historiographical gender lens will determine a conclusive causation and interpretation of the witch hunts and trials of seventeenth-century Britain and Europe.

Book List (Must include at least 5 of the books listed):

Malleus Maleficarum, Or: The Hammer of Witches Paperback – February 8, 2011 by Heinrich Godfrey Kramer (Author), Montague Summers (Translator)  Reada Classic Publisher*

*(Only as a mention as a historical reference within the text).

Merry E. Weisner, ed., Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (choose the most relevant 1-2 chapters)

Brian Levack, The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe 

  1. Rowlands, ed., Witchcraft and Masculinities in Early Modern Europe (again, choose the most relevant 1-2 chapters)

Louise Jackson (1995) Witches, wives and mothers: witchcraft persecution and women’s confessions in seventeenth-century England, Women’s History Review, 4:1, 63-84 To link to this article:

Barry Reay, Popular Cultures in England, 1550-1750 (Longman, 1998). Chapter on witchcraft from.

Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: A Documentary History (Middle Ages Series) 2nd Edition

by Alan Charles Kors (Editor), Edward Peters (Editor).

Europe’s Inner Demons: The Demonization of Christians in Medieval Christendom 1st Edition

by Norman Cohn .Religion and the Decline of Magic: Studies in Popular Beliefs in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England (Penguin History) Paperback – January 1, 2003 by Keith Thomas.

The European Witch Craze of the 14th to 17th Centuries: A Sociologist’s Perspective

Nachman Ben-Yehuda American Journal of Sociology  Vol. 86, No. 1 (Jul., 1980), pp. 1-31.

Historiography Paper Instructions:

You will write a 12-15pp historiography paper using Chicago style footnotes, Times New Roman, 12 font, double spaced, 1 inch margins. Bibliography required for references.

In this paper, you will write a scholarly review of at least five new works in a subfield of early modern or modern European history. Your goal will be to assess these books as a group and answer the following questions. How have these historians moved the conversation about European history forward? What, in your opinion, is missing from their arguments? What

new questions about European history does their work raise?

Book Requirements:

You will write about five books or an equivalent number of books and articles on a topic related to early modern or modern European history.


12-15 pages, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, page numbers on the bottom of the page. There’s no need for a cover page, but please do be sure to include your name at the top of the first page of your paper.


: Please use Chicago-style footnotes and include a bibliography

. For guidance on Chicago-style citations, see


Historiography is the history of history-writing so a good historiography paper does what any persuasive history paper does: it explores how and why change over time has occurred. In this case, however, what you are analyzing is how historians’ approach to a single topic has changed over time — they may ask new research questions, adopt new methods, or find new archives — and why these changes have occurred.

As the above suggests, an excellent historiography paper will make an argument. It is not simply five reading responses posted together. Rather, you need to put the books you have read in conversation with one another and trace how that conversation has evolved. The following questions are a good place to start.

How have these historians moved the conversation about your topic forward?

How have their approaches and pre-occupations changed over time?

What new questions about does their work raise?

For further information on how to write a persuasive historiography paper see