Faculty of Humanities
University of Amsterdam


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Conference: Looking through the occult

Categories: Conferences,Events

Looking Through the Occult:

Instrumentation, Esotericism, and Epistemology in the 19th Century

online at http://www.culture.hu-berlin.de/occult/

November 14 & 15, Humboldt University of Berlin, Main Building (Hauptgebäude), Unter den Linden 6—Room 2103


*pre-register by writing to bernard.geoghegan@hu-berlin.de*

In recent years the history of science has cast new light on how technical instrumentation in the nineteenth-century shaped conceptions of scientific objectivity as non-subjective and independent of human intervention. A parallel body of research in media studies has demonstrated how the contemporaneous rise of technical media (e.g. telegraphy, photography) informed spiritualistic beliefs that automated, technical inscriptions would provide faithful representation of a transcendental or spiritualistic world. Looking Through the Occult brings together scholars in media studies, the history of technology, science studies, and religious studies to consider how these phenomena interrelate. Conference Schedule: 14 November 2014 9:00 Coffee & snacks 9:30 Christian Kassung: Opening Remarks 10:00 Bernard Geoghegan: Occult Knowledge and Plain Sight: On the Popular Display of Scientific Wonders Florian Sprenger: Occult Occultism and the Afterlives of Actio in Distans   11:30 Ehler Voss & Erhard Schüttpelz: From Medium to Media: Oliver Lodge’s Radio History Margarida Medeiros: An Historical and Philosophical View on the Purpose of Documenting Non-Observational Matter   15:00 Robert Brain: “A Medium is a Medium is a Medium”: Ectoplasm Images, Psychical Research, and the Futurist Moment” Tessel M. Bauduin: “Modest recording instruments without talent”: Automatism in Surrealism   16:30 First Keynote Address John Durham Peters: Nineteenth-century Mormonism between angelic visitations and scientific rationality (and other tales of scrambled modernity)   15 November 2013 9:30 John Tresch: ‘Matter No More’: Edgar Allan Poe and the Paradoxes of Materialism Simone Natale: The Spectacular Supernatural 11:00 Stephan Gregory: Code und Kontakt. Mythologien der magischen Wirksamkeit Anthony Enns: Spiritualist Writing Machines   14:30 Egil Asprem: Scientific rationalism, occult empiricism? Representations of the microphysical world, ca. 1900 Petra Löffler: Geister der Stadt. Spektrologie urbaner Räume   16:00 Second Keynote Address Jeremy Stolow: On Mediumnic Lights, XRays, and the Spirit who Photographed Herself 17:30 Closing discussion
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