Malcolm Gaskill

Malcolm Gaskill

Professor

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Personal profile

Biography

Before joining the School of History, Malcolm Gaskill was Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Churchill College, Cambridge. Prior to that he was a lecturer at Keele University (1993-4), Queen’s University, Belfast (1994-5), and Anglia Ruskin University (1995-9).

His research interests are in British social and cultural history, 1500–1800, particularly the history of mentalities. He has written extensively about the history of witch-beliefs and witchcraft prosecutions, and is also interested in crime and the law, and the supernatural in the twentieth century, especially spiritualism and psychical research, 1920–50. He is currently writing a short history of witchcraft, while researching a book about emotion, mentality and culture in seventeenth-century English America. His most recent work is a history of the East Anglian witch-hunt of 1645-7, Witchfinders: a Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy (2005).

His undergraduate teaching comprises ‘Introduction to Early Modern Studies’ (Level 1), ‘Doing History’ (Level 1), and ‘Early Modern England: a Social History’ (Level 2). He is also running a new Level 1 module, ‘Witchcraft, Magic and Belief in Early Modern Europe’, and, with Andy Wood (from 2008), an MA module, ‘Society and Culture in Early Modern England’.

 He welcomes prospective MA and PhD students interested in the social and cultural history of early modern England, especially topics related to witchcraft, deviance and mentalities.

Key Research Interests and Expertise

His research interests are in British social and cultural history, 1500–1800, particularly the history of mentalities. He has written extensively about the history of witch-beliefs and witchcraft prosecutions, and is also interested in crime and the law, and the supernatural in the twentieth century, especially spiritualism and psychical research, 1920–50. He is currently writing a short history of witchcraft, while researching a book about emotion, mentality and culture in seventeenth-century English America.

Specialisms

Social and cultural history of Britain and America 1550-1750; history of crime, witchcraft, magic and spiritualism.