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Grant number: FT-58073-10

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FT-58073-10

Sarah Frances Williams
University of South Carolina, Columbia (Columbia, SC 29208-0001)

Representations of Early Modern English Witchcraft in Broadside Balladry and Popular Song

Though the histories and representations of witchcraft have fascinated humanities scholars since the late 19th century, formal studies have neglected to account for the role of popular song in characterizing witches in broadside ballads--that is, prints containing verse and decorative woodcuts sung to orally circulating tunes--during the long 17th century (c. 1580-1725). My book, Representations of Early Modern English Witchcraft in Broadside Balladry and Popular Song, examines the various musical topoi developed in early modern London's street literature and popular song to represent demonic magic and disorderly femininity. Early modern audiences constructed specific musical gestures that came to represent excess and its sympathies with witchcraft, social and physical disorder, and uncontrolled femininity. My research reconstructs these gestures to determine how 17th-century Londoners heard witchcraft. During summer 2010, I will conduct research in England and draft two book chapters.

Project fields:
Music History and Criticism

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2010 – 9/30/2010