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Some Things Coming

Tags: Carnivals, due dates, Daddy-hood, destiny, “a mean house in a dull street.”

Something Historic This Way Comes: I will be hosting the 23rd edition of the History Carnival here at OitNN on January 15th. (Carnival No. 22 is up at Jonathan Dresner’s Frog In A Well.) If you read (or write!) any interesting history-related blogging between now and January 15, please let me know by commenting or emailing a link (I’m at electromail-way at-way obmacdougall-ray ot-day org-way.) It doesn’t have to be academic-style history or the work of a professional historian–quite the opposite. The guidelines say: “It must be stressed that the Carnival is not just for academics and specialists, that entries certainly don’t have to be heavyweight scholarship. … They may be focused on a historical topic, on the author’s particular research interests or, alternatively, they may be reflections on the particular challenges and rewards of studying, researching and teaching history. Other examples of possible candidates for inclusion could include reviews of history books or web resources, discussions of ‘popular’ histories (films, dramas and documentaries, novels, etc).” A few submissions have already trickled in–thanks for those, keep them coming, and tune in here on the 15th! Read more

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The Medium is the Message

Tags: the supernatural is political, suffragists from the Great Beyond, Ghostbusters, ectoplasm, creepy retro bondage gear.

(Part Two of Two. Read Part One.)

My post the day before yesterday described The Perfect Medium, an exhibition of spiritualist photographs on this month at the Met. I talked about spiritualism as a technology, or at least a technological endeavor, and about the funny place the Gilded Age spiritualists tried to occupy between science and religion. I didn’t talk, yet, about what it was that I found unsettling about the exhibition–and no, it wasn’t the gallery of surprisingly portly Victorian ghosts.
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Spirit Fingers

Tags: ghost cameras, necrophones, the no man’s land between faith and reason, a pirate’s daughter.

(Part One of Two. Read Part Two.)

I was in New York last week, and I got a chance to see The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult, an exhibit of spiritualist photographs from the late 19th and early 20th century at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I enjoyed it, as I knew I would, but there was something disquieting about the exhibit too. It’s taken me a couple of days to put my finger on what that might have been.

The angel of death comes for Martin Sheen.
The angel of death comes for Martin Sheen.

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