On episode FIFTEEN of Let the Bird Fly! we welcome Dr. Aaron Palmer, who holds his M.A. in History from Marquette University and his Ph.D. in History from Georgetown University. Dr. Palmer has been teaching a course entitled “Witchcraft and Culture in the Atlantic World” for about 10 years, and that’s exactly what we get him to discuss on this episode of Let the Bird Fly! Before arriving at the main topic, though, Oliva attempts to pang Wade’s conscience by creating new rules (SPOILER ALERT: it doesn’t work, he’s just too calloused). Then Wade reminds us that sorcery and witchcraft are frowned upon in Scripture, and eventually we move on to a how-to workshop on witchcraft discussion of witchcraft (and witch hunts) from the early modern period in Europe through the colonial period as Europeans cross the Atlantic, ending with an extended discussion of the Salem witch trials. We also find out that Dr. Palmer is not ashamed to admit that he’s read the Harry Potter series…multiple times.

If you’d like to find out more about Dr. Palmer and what he’s up to, you can find his faculty profile here, or you can check out his 2014 book A Rule of Law: Elite Political Authority and the Coming of the Revolution in the South Carolina Lowcountry, 1763-1776 (Early American History – the American Colonies, 1500-1830) (now that’s an academic book title!). We are extremely grateful to Dr. Palmer for taking the time to talk with us and our listeners. And even if he didn’t make us sorcerers, he definitely managed to give us a great conversation.

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