The Media of Mediumship – a research project

YPU has been contacted by Professor Christine Ferguson, a researcher undertaking a project called ‘The Media of Mediumship’

Professor Christine Ferguson: – We’re really hoping that members of photographic societies will be able to attend some of the events and perhaps even participate in our end-of-project focus group meetings next year, where we’ll ask participants for their feedback on the programme. Many of our events, including my talk on the Cottingley Fairies at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford this September, deal specifically with major incidents and figures in the photographic history of Yorkshire.

The Media of Mediumship is a one-year AHRC funded project which examines 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 tells 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 will deliver original curatorial perspectives on collection materials whose occult histories of use have long been unknown or misunderstood. Through its affiliation with the NSMM in particular, it will work to highlight the Bradford site’s new sound and vision redesign, with its planned live events aligning with the “Sound” focus of the 2021 Science Festival. The project is based at the University of Stirling and produced in collaboration with the Science Museum Group and Senate House Library, and follows on from the AHRC Popular Occulture in Britain, 1875-1947 project. It is led by Professor Christine Ferguson, University of Stirling (PI) and Dr Efram Sera-Shriar, Science Museum Group (CI).

Anyone interested can contact Professor Ferguson via her email address:

Professor Christine Ferguson
Chair in English Studies
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA