Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Dr Carolyn James


Previously coded HSY3085


This unit will consider the cultural history of Western Europe from late antiquity through to the beginnings of modernity. We will focus particularly on the persecution of witches, accused sometimes of fornication with the devil or of infanticide and cannibalism, but will look also at other individuals and groups that have been considered sinful, unnatural, freakish or depraved. In so doing, we will explore the long story of the European outsider, and ask what these harsh designations and cruel treatments of people who were marginal or different might tell us about the history of European society as a whole.


Students who have completed the subject will:

  1. be familiar with different approaches in the cultural history of the body and deviance
  2. know how to critically assess these approaches
  3. discuss their merit
  4. formulate their own positions on key issues based on a critical engagement with the historiography and relevant primary sources
  5. situate their own work within larger historiographical debates
  6. In addition, at Level 3, students will develop an independent research project.


Written work: 90%
Tutorial participation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One lecture and one tutorial per week for 12 weeks

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A first-year sequence in History or permission