American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Witch-Hunting - Context Travel

American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Witch-Hunting


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Who made America? This series of talks led by University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell is designed to allow you to dip in and out depending on your interests. It examines how three peoples—Europeans, Natives, and Africans—encountered each other in North America and, through conflict and cooperation, created what became the United States. Together, these lectures provide a great primer on almost every aspect of early American history prior to 1877. But they’re designed as stand-alone offerings, so come on out for whichever topics spark your imagination.

To learn more about this series and view past and future events, click here.

This program contains some short interactive elements.

Why did so many seventeenth-century Americans believe that witches walked among them? How could they balance their faith in reason with a belief system that encouraged them to see wondrous signs of God’s love and the Devil’s temptations all around them? How did they respond when they believed the devil’s servants were stalking their own communities?

One response was, of course, the witch-hunt, dozens of which pock-marked the early history of the English colonies in North America. What were the hallmarks of a witch-hunt and why is the outbreak of witch-hunting in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, still so well-known today? Why did that tragic episode in Salem claim so many innocent lives and how have historians tried to explain its peculiar dynamics, impact, and legacy?

Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the new book "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home" which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Center for History and Culture, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
83%
(5)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
17%
(1)
L
L.H.
Very interesting

Excellent presentation - not only 'telling the story' but also exploring the 'hows' and 'whys' of a horrifying and very strange episode in history. Good recommendations for further reading.

P
P.R.
American History Mondays: Witch-Hunting

Another superb seminar with Richard Bell. He never disappoints! He has such command of a tremendous amount of fascinating early American historical information AND presents it in such an enthusiastic manner, I am riveted the entire time. He has a great sense of humor and is so appreciative of his students. What's not to love about this professor?

j
j.t.
How wonderful it is to share the knowledge and enthusiasm that Dr Bell has for history

Wonderful 90 minutes of sharing Dr Bell’s joy for learning and his skill for sharing it

V
V.
Such an interesting seminar!

This was a fantastic seminar. It was incredibly interesting to delve more deeply into the phenomenon of witch-hunting in the 1600s in Puritan Massachusetts with Rick Bell. The questions he posed and ensuing discussions made the seminar even more like an in-person experience, although Dr. Bell always does the best job of that.

d
d.b.
Excellent class

He knows his material and is truly interactive , handles people and their questions well. A delight

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
83%
(5)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
17%
(1)
L
L.H.
Very interesting

Excellent presentation - not only 'telling the story' but also exploring the 'hows' and 'whys' of a horrifying and very strange episode in history. Good recommendations for further reading.

P
P.R.
American History Mondays: Witch-Hunting

Another superb seminar with Richard Bell. He never disappoints! He has such command of a tremendous amount of fascinating early American historical information AND presents it in such an enthusiastic manner, I am riveted the entire time. He has a great sense of humor and is so appreciative of his students. What's not to love about this professor?

j
j.t.
How wonderful it is to share the knowledge and enthusiasm that Dr Bell has for history

Wonderful 90 minutes of sharing Dr Bell’s joy for learning and his skill for sharing it

V
V.
Such an interesting seminar!

This was a fantastic seminar. It was incredibly interesting to delve more deeply into the phenomenon of witch-hunting in the 1600s in Puritan Massachusetts with Rick Bell. The questions he posed and ensuing discussions made the seminar even more like an in-person experience, although Dr. Bell always does the best job of that.

d
d.b.
Excellent class

He knows his material and is truly interactive , handles people and their questions well. A delight