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John Demos

John Demos is the author of several books about colonial America, and is completing a study of witch-hunts. He teaches at Yale.

Sensory history

John Demos, 30 November 2006

As the long skein of historians’ interest continues to unwind – from its once dominant focus on politics and warfare, to the successively ‘new’ fields of intellectual, social and cultural history – the newest of the new is the senses. Sight, sound, taste, touch, smell: each has a history, and each has beckoned to scholars for at least a decade.

The possibilities...

Chief Much Business

John Demos, 9 February 2006

Throughout the summer of 1763, a succession of Indian chiefs journeyed through the forest west of the British colonial town of Albany, New York, all heading for a single destination. Tuscaroras, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas and others: all of the Six Nations of the famed Iroquois Confederacy were represented. The focus of their attentions was a white man living in their midst, whose father had...

Eunice’s Story

Hilary Mantel, 20 October 1994

The Indians attacked in the dead of winter, before dawn. The first the minister knew of it was the sound of axes breaking open his windows and doors. Moments later, twenty painted savages were in...

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