Queer Witches, Media Scapegoats, and Moral Panics: Re-Centering Folklore in Arthur Evans’s Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture

Jeremy S. Boorum (Penn State Harrisburg)

This paper will consider the centrality of folklore within Arthur Evans’s Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture (1978). In this work, Evans traces the history of queer individuals and considers ephemeral evidence often disregarded by historians. At the same time, Evans examines the conflation of queer identities with witchcraft and pagan practices, leading to beliefs that these individuals are deviant. I will argue that central to this discussion of Evans’s work is the role of the media and various historical campaigns such as Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children,” in creating false narratives about queer individuals which circulate into the present.

Part of 05-10 Queer Identities, Marginalized and Centered, Friday, October 14, 10:30 am–12:30 pm