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Beyond the Lecture Hall

Title: Beyond the Lecture Hall: Spectral Bodies and Touch in Nineteenth-Century Material Mediumship.
Name(s): Coston, Matthew, author
Corrigan, John, professor directing thesis
Porterfield, Amanda, committee member
McVicar, Michael J., committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Arts and Sciences, degree granting college
Department of Religion, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (77 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis analyzes both the material phenomena channeled by antebellum Spiritualists, and the attendant séance form. Sitter accounts, emphasizing the desire for emotional and material points of connection with spirits, challenge previous interpretations of material phenomena as novel sensationalism. Through practice, material mediums demonstrated an ideal model of selfhood as social, bodily, and free from spatial confines. Rail technology's disruption of the traditional social and spatial implications of distance opened up the possibility for a radical reimagining of space as primarily social, and erasable through physical and emotional harmony. Though previously neglected, practices around material manifestations demonstrate a strategic model of bodily selfhood complementary to the larger Spiritualist project of pursuing an imminent universal harmony.
Identifier: FSU_2016SP_Coston_fsu_0071N_13017 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Religion in partial fulfillment of the Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester 2015.
Date of Defense: December 11, 2015.
Keywords: Emotion, Haunting, Material culture, Sensory, Spiritualism
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: John Corrigan, Professor Directing Thesis; Amanda Porterfield, Committee Member; Michael McVicar, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Religion
Persistent Link to This Record:
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Host Institution: FSU

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Coston, M. (2015). Beyond the Lecture Hall: Spectral Bodies and Touch in Nineteenth-Century Material Mediumship. Retrieved from