Ghosts of Futures Past: Spiritualism and the Cultural Politics of Nineteenth-Century America
Ghosts of Futures Past guides readers through the uncanny world of nineteenth-century American spiritualism. More than an occult parlor game, this was a new religion, which channeled the voices of the dead, linked present with past, and conjured new worldly and otherworldly futures. Tracing the persistence of magic in an emergent culture of secularism, Molly McGarry brings a once marginalized practice to the center of American cultural history. Spiritualism provided an alchemical combination of science and magic that called into question the very categories of male and female, material and immaterial, self and other, living and dead. Dissolving the boundaries between them opened Spiritualist practitioners to other voices and, in turn, allowed them to imagine new social worlds and forge diverse political affinities.
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antebellum Anthony Comstock argued Banner ofLight Beard belief body Boston California century Chicago Christian Civil Colville Comstock Comstock Law Cora L. V. culture dead death discourse disease doctors editor Emma Hardinge Fancher female feminine Feminism Foucault Fox sisters free love gender ghost girls Hammond Hatch haunted historians hysteria hysterical Indian spirits Jesse Shepard Katie King lectures living magic male material medium mediumship mesmerism middle-class mourning movement Mumler narrative Native Americans nervous neurologists nineteenth nineteenth-century Americans nineteenth-century Spiritualists obscenity ofSpiritualism ofthe Philippe Ariès photograph political popular psychic Radclyffe Hall radical raps reform religion religious reprint scientific Scott séance secular sexology sexual Shepard social Society spectral Spiritual Telegraph Spiritualist newspapers Spiritualist practice Spiritualist press Spiritualists story subjects Theosophy tion trance tualists United University Press Victoria Woodhull Victorian Whitman William woman women women’s rights writing wrote York York Daily Graphic young