Victorian Persistence Seminar, session 12: ‘Physiology or Psychic powers? William Carpenter and the debate over Spiritualism in Mid-Victorian Britain’.

Session 12 of our seminar took place place on Wednesday 16th January at Université Paris Diderot (17h30-19h30):

‘Physiology or Psychic powers William Carpenter and the debate over Spiritualism

Shannon Delorme (Université Paris Diderot / University of Oxford) gave a paper entitled ‘Physiology or Psychic powers? William Carpenter and the debate over Spiritualism in Mid-Victorian Britain’.

Thibaud Trochu (Université Paris 1) was her respondent.

We worked with the following texts:

– George M. Beard, ‘Spiritualism, The Counterfeits of science and how to detect them’, New York Times, 20th November 1874. George Beard, Spiritualism, The Counterfeits of science, New York Times, 20th Nov1874

– William B. Carpenter, Mesmerism, Spiritualism, &c., Historically and Scientifically Considered, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1877, preface, pp.v-iv. William B. Carpenter, Mesmerism & Spiritualism, preface, 1978.

– Alfred Russell Wallace, Psycho-physiological Sciences and their Assaillants, Being a Response to the attacks of Prof. W. B. Carpenter of England and others, Boston: Colby & Rich publishers, 1883, pp.1-26. A R Wallace, Psycho-physiological Sciences and their Assaillants, 1883

Shannon and Thibaud talking about ectoplasm, the otherwordly substance believed to emanate from the body of a medium during communication with the dead.

Shannon and Thibaud talking about ectoplasm, the otherwordly substance believed to emanate from the body of a medium during communication with the dead.

Shannon and Thibaud talking about American neurologist George Miller Beard

Shannon and Thibaud talking about American neurologist George Miller Beard

Shannon and Thibaud talking about William Carpenter

Shannon and Thibaud talking about William Carpenter

We also highly recommend the exhibition about spiritualism at the Maison de Victor Hugo. http://www.paris.fr/loisirs/musees-expos/maisons-de-victor-hugo/mediums-spiritisme-maison-victor-hugo/rub_5852_actu_118787_port_24601

Entrée des médiums - Spiritisme et art d’Hugo à Breton à la Maison de Victor Hugo

Entrée des médiums – Spiritisme et art d’Hugo à Breton à la Maison de Victor Hugo

This monthly seminar takes place on Wednesdays at 5.30pm at the following address:

Salle 575F, suivre ‘Salle des thèses’,  Halle aux farines, Hall F, 5ème étage: accès par le hall E, allée paire, ascenseur F,  accès 9 esplanade Pierre Vidal-Naquet 75013 Paris ou 10 rue Françoise Dolto 75013 Paris, métro Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand.

All are welcome!

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