The Media of Mediumship: Encountering the Material Culture of Modern Occultism in Britain’s Science, Technology, and Magic Collections aimed to examine the relationship between science, technology and occultism in modern Britain, using the unique collections of the Science Museum Group and Senate House Library to explore the entangled histories of human belief, perception, trust and scientific evidence as experienced through sight and sound.
To find out more, visit the official project website.
The Media of Mediumship was a one-year AHRC-funded project which examined the relationship between science, technology and occultism in modern Britain, using the unique collections of the Science Museum Group and Senate House Library to explore the entangled histories of human belief, perception, trust and scientific evidence as experienced through sight and sound.
Over a series of talks, interactive activities and creative performances, it told the story of how unorthodox spiritual believers and sceptics alike have used new technologies and scientific instruments—photography, wireless transmission, telegraphy, tape recorders—to attest or debunk the existence of an unseen world. In so doing, the project delivered original curatorial perspectives on collection materials whose occult histories of use have long been unknown or misunderstood. Through its affiliation with the National Science and Media Museum in particular, it worked to highlight the Bradford site’s new sound and vision redesign, with its planned live events aligning with the ‘Sound’ focus of the 2021 Bradford Science Festival.
The project was based at the University of Stirling and produced in collaboration with the Science Museum Group and Senate House Library, and followed on from the AHRC Popular Occulture in Britain, 1875–1947 project.
- Production of interactive events programme, article and film
- Production of new creative works
- Knowledge exchange with international stakeholders
Name: Professor Christine Ferguson
Job title: Chair in English Studies
Organisation: University of Stirling
Project role: Principal Investigator
Name: Dr Efram Sera-Shriar
Job title: Senior Researcher and Research Grants Manager
Organisation: Science Museum Group
Project role: Co-Investigator
Name: Emma Merkling
Job title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Organisation: University of Stirling and Science Museum Group
Project role: Postdoctoral Research Fellow