Asma, Stephen T. On Monsters: an Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
This book has a very interesting chapter on witches that focuses heavily on the ways that sex and gender influenced witchcraft belief, including a very frank overview of magical penectomy. Unfortunately, it focuses heavily on medieval beliefs, and also has little to say about Salem specifically and far less on the accusers.
Boyer, Paul and Nissenbaum, Stephen. Salem Possessed: the Social Origins of Witchcraft. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1974.
This is one of the seminal works on the Salem witch trials, and I greatly enjoyed Boyer’s later book When Time Shall Be No More: Prophecy Belief in Modern American Literature. Still, it wasn’t particularly useful to me in this case. Boyer and Nissenbaum seem to see the trials as a conflict between men fought through women and girls, without ever really granting them agency.
----. “’Salem Possessed’ in Retrospect.” The William and Mary Quarterly. 65(3). Jul 2008: 503-534.
This article is a defense of Boyer and Nissenbaum’s aforementioned book, and is largely focused on demographics. Again, little is said about the accusers and nothing about their motives. It was interesting to see how much debate Salem Possessed inspired, but not directly related to my thesis.
Callis, Mark. “The Aftermath of the Salem Witch Trials in Colonial America.” Historical Journal of Massachusetts. 33(2). Oct 2005: 187-213
This article is exactly what it purports to be. It’s an examination of the effects that the trials had on Salem and on Colonial America as a whole. Also, it gives some interesting insights into the relationship between bewitchment and possession, but was still too peripheral to the motives of the afflicted to be of use to me.
Godbeer, Richard. The Salem Witch Hunt: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011.
Our humble textbook on the subject, already covered under unreasonable time constraints by Conchetta. This book really helped me reconsider a lot of the misconceptions with which I came to this paper, gave me a lot of valuable context, and also got me to think about the afflicted more carefully.
Hutton, Ronald. The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Despite its title, this very dense book is actually a history of European belief in magic and occultism. It covers the subject in exhaustive (and exhausting) detail, and is one of the go-to books that I keep on my shelf. Unfortunately, it’s almost entirely focused on Europe, so Salem doesn’t even receive enough mention to make it to the index. Still, I highly recommend it to anyone with a scholarly interest in the European occult tradition.
Karlsen, Carol F. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman: Witchcraft in Colonial New England. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1998.
Karlsen’s book looks at the ways in which gender and gender norms influenced the Salem witch trials. She dedicates an entire chapter to the afflicted accusers, and does some wonderful demographic work.
----. “Salem Revisited.” The William and Mary Quarterly. 65(3). Jul 2008: 489-494.
Karlsen offers up a critique of some of the opposition to Boyer and Nissenbaum, especially their exclusion of the accusers from their writing. Her defense of this position gave me food for thought, but while she argues that the afflicted girls were not acting out of malice, she says very little about what they were doing.
Malmsheimer, Lonna M. “Daughters of Zion: New England Roots of American Feminism.” The New England Quarterly. 50.3 (Sep 1977): 484-504. JSTOR. Web. 27 Nov. 2011
Malmsheimer looks at the ways in which Puritan notions of women’s spiritual inferiority evolved over time into notions of female purity and eventually influenced the feminist movement. Only the first few pages deal with the time period I’m working with, but those pages are really useful. As the title suggests, she also discusses Cotton Mather.
Ray, Benjamin. “Satan’s War Against the Covenant in Salem Village, 1692.” New England Quarterly: A Historical Review of New England Life and Letters 80 (1). 2007 Mar: 69-95.
This article, like Boyer and Nissbaum’s Salem Possessed, looks at the church and city politics of the Salem witch trials. It’s intriguing, and gives a detailed blow-by-blow account of the event, but it suffers from the same weakness as Salem Possessed: Ray treats the accusers as impressionable youngsters with no real agency.
Reis, Elizabeth. “Revelation, Witchcraft and the Danger of Knowing God’s Secrets.” Women in Religion in America: Reimagining the Past. Chicago Divinity School. October 8-10, 1993. PDF. http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/conferences/womenandreligion/private/reis_elizabeth.pdf
This conference paper examines the ways in which the Puritan distrust of direct revelation, especially direct revelation to women, influenced the Salem witch trials. It also covers Anne Hutchinson. This is a really intriguing paper that gives a surprisingly comprehensive look at Puritan views on women’s spirituality.
----. “The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England.” The Journal of American History. 82.1 (Jun 1995): 15-36. JSTOR. Web. 27 Nov. 2011
This paper looks at Puritan ideas of the soul as female, and the ways in which, rather than make them see women as spiritually superior, it led to a Puritan fear that the devil would enter women’s souls through their bodies. I found it very useful for thinking about the religious paranoia which surrounded a woman’s every act.
Tracy, Allison. “Uncanny Afflictions: Spectral Evidence and the Puritan Crisis of Subjectivity.” Spectral America: Phantoms and the National Imagination. Ed. Weinstock, Jeffrey Andrew. Madison, WI: Popular, 2004.
Tracy looks at spectral evidence and the role played by spectral evidence in the trials. She also looks at Mather, but the entire article seems, again, to focus on the accused, the magistrates, the theologians, the preachers, and everyone except the accusers. As someone interested in ghosts, I was very interested in this, but it wasn’t useful for this particular paper.
Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England 1650-1750. New York: Vintage Books, 1991. Kindle Edition.
I had heard about this text before, but thought it was too broad in scope for my paper until Leslie and Dominique both recommended it. It’s a startlingly thorough book, and seems to at least touch on just about everything we’ve discussed in class. It also makes some excellent points about those things, including the Salem witch trials. Ulrich covers the ways in which women functioned on the margins of Puritan communities, while also forming a (generally) silent majority population in many congregations.