Mass Hysteria in Schools: A Worldwide History Since 1566

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McFarland, Jan 23, 2014 - Education - 236 pages
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This book comprehensively surveys the colorful history of mass hysteria and kindred phenomena in schools, documenting outbreaks of demonic possession during witchcraft scares, to modern incidents of collapsing bands, itching frenzies, ghost panics and mystery illnesses. Strange behaviors and illnesses in students are examined through the centuries. Possessed children went into trance states and began to bark like dogs in 16th and 17th century Holland; an epidemic of twitching, trembling and blackout spells swept through European schools during the latter 1800s; an outbreak of Tourette’s-like symptoms struck schoolgirls in western New York in 2011-12. In addition to the US and Europe, separate chapters detail accounts from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania. A variety of theories to explain outbreaks are examined.
 

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Contents

Foreword by Glenn Dawes
1
Introduction
3
1 Witch Hunts and Schoolchildren
11
Historic Tales from Europe and America
26
Modern Tales from East and West
44
Tales from Asia
71
Accounts from Africa
94
Accounts from the Islands
121
7 Strange Tales from Latin America
134
Cases from Beyond the Classroom
146
9 Global Lessons
173
Chapter Notes
187
Bibliography
211
Index
223
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About the author (2014)

Robert E. Bartholomew has taught sociology in Australia at The Flinders University of South Australia and James Cook University in Queensland. A former radio journalist and contributor to the Associated Press and United Press International, he teaches at Botany College in Auckland, New Zealand. Bob Rickard founded Fortean Times, a monthly periodical for balanced reporting and discussion of anomalies in most fields, including those studying behavior, experience and belief, in late November 1973 and edited it for the next 28 years. He continues to contribute research, articles and reports on unusual topics in his semi-retirement. He lives in London, England.

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