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Prospects and Pitfalls of a Global History Approach to Early Modern European Witch-Hunt

By Sun Yue

Published in World History Bulletin, Vol. XXIV, No. 2 (Fall, 2008), pp. 37-41.

Abstract: The contemporary rise of global history signals the efforts of history as an academic discipline to keep abreast of the times. Many historical issues, including the early modern European witch hunt, when examined in the new light of global history, yield startlingly fresh images and new prospects for historical research. Yet global history is not without pitfalls. Failing to critically examine primary sources can be lethal; blindly following established narrative frameworks can lead one astray; and global history is not the history of everything, something to be borne in mind by practitioner and reader alike.

Keywords: witch hunt; global history; early modern