Science of the Seance : Transnational Networks and Gendered Bodies in the Study of Psychic Phenomena, 1918-40

Science of the Seance : Transnational Networks and Gendered Bodies in the Study of Psychic Phenomena, 1918-40

by Beth A. Robertson
English | 2016 | ISBN: 0774833491 | 253 Pages | PDF | 1.74 MB

Beth A. Robertson resurrects the story of a group of men and women who sought to transform the seance into a laboratory of the spirits and a transnational empirical project. Her findings cast new light on how science, metaphysics, and the senses collided to inform gendered norms in the 1920s and 30s. She reveals a world inhabited, on one side, by psychical researchers who represented themselves as masters of the senses, untainted by the effeminized subjectivity of the body and, on the other, by mediums and ghostly subjects who could and did challenge the researchers exclusive claims to scientific expertise and authority.

"It's a rare treat when I get to indulge my interest in the paranormal through such a well-researched and argued work as Beth A. Robertson's Science of the Seance ... it will appeal not only to those studying the paranormal, but also to scholars of technology, gender, and sexuality, and those who are interested in the origins of new sciences and the construction of knowledge ... It takes its subject matter seriously (which shouldn't be underestimated), and makes far-reaching conclusions that cross disciplinary boundaries. It draws together a number of seemingly disparate threads into a concise framework that, for me, transformed how I thought about paranormal research. I look forward to more work like this." - Matthew Hayes, The Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies, Trent University American Review of Canadian Studies

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