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More about Hansun's research

19 October 2021 - 19 October 2021

4:00PM - 5:00PM

Hybrid In person (DU Staff and Students only) Elvet Riverside 1, Room 149 Online via Zoom.

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Dr Hunsun Hsiung from the School of Modern Languages and Culture presents the first of the our CVAC 'Research Showcase' events.

Can the mind inscribe its contents directly onto photosensitized surfaces? And if so, can we distinguish mental images from other forms of photographic inscription? These questions troubled believers and skeptics alike across the strange twentieth-century career of ‘thoughtography.’ Coined first by the University of Tokyo psychologist Fukurai Tomokichi (1869-1952) in 1910, ‘thoughtography’ caused a scandal in Japanese academe, leading to Fukurai’s eventual dismissal from his post. After moderate attention at the World Congress on Spiritual Science of 1928 in London, thoughtography then vanished, only to experience a pronounced resurgence in the U.S. during the ‘60s. Across this history, discourse surrounding thoughtography was closely concerned with analyzing different material practices of inscription, and the telltale traces of these material practices as they manifested themselves on surfaces from photographic plates to Polaroid film. My talk examines thoughtography’s transnational career, suggesting more broadly the ways in which parapsychology might serve as an opportune field for writing global histories at the intersection of science and visual media.