Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Scott Honeycutt

Committee Members

Katherine Weiss, Phyllis Thompson


Accusations and persecution of witchcraft have been embedded in global culture for centuries. For as long as these persecutions have occurred, women have found themselves accused most frequently. Older women with herbal knowledge were often called on to assist with childbirth or termination of pregnancies and this “secret knowledge” often led them to be suspected of supernatural abilities, often of a satanic nature. Intrigued by these wise women who appeared to have mysterious powers and a penchant for arousing the ire of men in the legal, medical, and religious communities, I began to notice their frequent appearance in novels. Does the presence of actual or perceived magic serve to improve the women’s status in their community? I reviewed several examples of YA literature, two picture books, and four Toni Morrison novels to determine if magic, conjuring, and witchcraft were more powerful threats than sexism and racism.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.