Legacy of Witchcraft in Popular Culture
Legacy - HNRS 1120

Instructor(s): Maria DeBlassie

Course Description

This 100-level course explores the legacy of witchcraft polar culture.  From the Salem witch trials to the reemergence of brujeria in mainstream culture, to the longstanding tradition of curanderrsima in New Mexico and the continued popularity of witch-themed TV shows, witchcraft has been associated with folk healers, social outcasts, queerness, and female empowerment.  This course spans historical, cultural, and social contexts in order to examine how these representations of witchcraft can reinforce or resist sexist ideologies and reshape the stories we tell about spirituality, gender, and social justice. 

Texts

Movies 

The Wizard of Oz (1939) 

I Married a Witch (1942) 

The Craft (1996) 

Practical Magic (1999) 

The Witch (2015) 

The Love Witch (2016) 

Half Magic (2018) 

TV Shows & Short Videos 

Bewitched, “I, Darrin, Take This Witch Samantha” (S1E1, 1964) 

Charmed, “Something Wicca This Way Comes” (S1E1, 1999) 

Witches of East End, “Pilot” & “Marilyn Fenwick, R.I.P.” (S1E1-2, 2013) 

Brujos Web Series, Season 1 (2017) 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, “"Chapter One: October Country” & “Chapter Two: The Dark Baptism"   (S1E1-2, 2018) 

Charmed, “Pilot” (S1E1, 2018) 

Juju Web Series, Season 1 (2019) 

Books 

Juliet Blackwell’s Secondhand Spirits (2009) 

Talia Hibbert’s Take a Hint, Dani Brown (2020) 

Excerpts & Short Articles 

Students can expect to read a variety of supplementary texts on curanderisma, conjure practices, folk magic, and modern witchcraft. 

Requirements

Students will be required to attend class regularly and be prepared for active participation and discussion of course texts. Other assignments include daily short in-class activities and exercises; a short oral presentation and guided discussion on a particular topic or reading for class; two 2-4 page analytical essays on given texts; a group presentation project; and one research project on one or more of the course texts and/or tropes. 

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About the Instructor(s): Maria DeBlassie

Dr. Maria DeBlassie is a native New Mexican mestiza bruja and award-winning writer and educator living in the Land of Enchantment. She writes and teaches about spooky stuff, romance, and all things witchy. She is forever looking for magic in her life and somehow always finding more than she thought was there. You can find out more about her at www.mariadeblassie.com.