May 25, 2024  
College Catalog 2023-2024 
College Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ANTH 248 - Defense Against the Dark Arts

This course uses the lens of cultural anthropology to examine witchcraft and magical traditions around the world. Major topics include psychosomatic healing, the social roles of shamans and possession mediums, recurring themes in witchcraft accusations, and the psychoanalysis of Harry Potter. Throughout these topics, we will wrestle with the distinctions between science, religion, and magic while gaining an appreciation of historically marginalized beliefs and practices.  The course employs a combination of lecture and film as well as small group discussions and research presentations. Prerequisite(s): A prior course in cultural anthropology is recommended but not required. Alternate spring semesters. (4 Credits)