Spiritism as the flagship of Modernity: Port cities and uncanny communications

PortCityFutures publishes a writing by Judit Vidiella, framed in the research project, "Pleasurescapes. Port Cities, Transnational Forces of Integration"

PortCityFutures publishes a writing by Judit Vidiella, framed in the research project, "Pleasurescapes. Port Cities, Transnational Forces of Integration"

For over a century (ca. 1850 to 1945) Spiritism was a popular field of entertainment, and port cities had an important role in the spread of spiritist ideas. While many studies and accounts of Spiritism characterise it as a cultural interpretation of the period’s rapid development of communication technologies – telepathy as a simple imitation, or rapping communication in the case of typewriting - these studies neglect how occult practices themselves contributed to new scientific, communicational, and industrial systems that where emerging in that moment (Noakes, 2016). By using the theoretical framework of Geoghegan (2016), in this blog I analyse two examples of how Spiritists built their proper networks of communication and ‘uncanny infrastructures’ through port cities: Bremerhaven and Barcelona.

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