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Maymester in Salem


Graduate student Courtney Polidori contemplates the herb garden in the backyard of accused witch Rebecca Nurse, whose 27-acre homestead is located in Danvers, MA (formerly Salem Village). The 17th century property includes a graveyard, a reconstructed Puritan meeting house, and a farmhouse with historical artifacts.




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Dr. Tarter’s Maymester course, The Witch in Literature, invites graduate students and undergraduates to collaborate as they conduct archival research in the library of the Peabody Museum Essex Museum in Salem, MA. Here, students have the rare opportunity to touch, study, and scrutinize actual trial documents from 1692. The archival research represents the culmination of weeks of intense classroom discussions and readings that help students examine the witch hunts from a variety of perspectives, including history, gender, class, religious, post-colonial and political.