Beyond Text: Spiritualism and Technology in Contemporary and Historical Contexts


Award Holder

Dr Sas Mays

Higher Education Institute

University of Westminster

Now in its second phase (2009-10), the project 'Spiritualism and Technology' will shift its emphasis by focusing on ways in which spiritualist practices might be paradigmatic for culture at large, and to concentrate on the role of archives and technological memory in cultural life, under the title ‘Archives, Haunting, Culture’. The project will stage a series of public events at the University of Westminster in collaboration with the Magic Lantern Society (see peppersghostlectures_0910.pdf), and organize three conferences:

The first will bring together the Magic Lantern Society and academics and specialists in the field of obsolete visual media and their relevance for contemporary visual practices. The conference is scheduled for the end of April 2010.

The second will concentrate on Marxist and Post-Marxist theories of temporality and their relevance to theorising the archive as a potential for the radical reconfiguration of the future. The event will be taking place at the end of June 2010.

The third conference is currently under discussion, and further information concerning all events will be published here in due time.

This core of the project will be augmented by an online platform for networking and research, and the award holder welcomes any suggestions from interested parties about such collaboration.

Details of forthcoming events will be posted to the ‘Research and Workshops’ section of this site, and examples of the visual cultures at issue will be posted to the ‘Photo and Video Gallery’ section as the project develops.



Arts & Humanities Research Council: Each year the AHRC provides approximately £100 million from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. In any one year, the AHRC makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,000 postgraduate awards. Awards are made after a rigorous peer review process, to ensure that only applications of the highest quality are funded. Arts and humanities researchers constitute nearly a quarter of all research-active staff in the higher education sector. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. See Arts & Humanities Research Council website.