Visual glossolalia. The spiritistic photography between science and religion

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dc.contributor.author Padoan, Tatsuma
dc.date.accessioned 2021-02-03T14:49:58Z
dc.date.available 2021-02-03T14:49:58Z
dc.date.issued 2020-12
dc.identifier.citation Padoan, T. (2020) 'Glossolalie visive. La fotografia spiritica tra scienza e religione', E|C Rivista dellâ Associazione Italiana di Studi Semiotici, XIV (30), pp. 329-344. en
dc.identifier.volume XIV en
dc.identifier.issued 30 en
dc.identifier.startpage 329 en
dc.identifier.endpage 344 en
dc.identifier.issn 1970-7452
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/11032
dc.description.abstract In 1895 Ferdinand de Saussure, the father of sémiologie and modern linguistics, was called by his colleague Théodore Flournoy, Professor of Psychology at Geneva University, to examine a curious case of spirit possession. The case regarded a lady, known with the pseudonym of Hélène Smith (1861- 1929), who had attracted attention from several scholars thanks to her paranormal activities, manifested under a state of trance and somnambulism, which were examined under the label of “glossolalia”. A few years later, in 1905, another group of scientists and scholars of international fame which included Pierre and Marie Curie, and three other future Nobel Prizes like physicist Jean Baptiste Perrin, physiologist Charles Richet and philosopher Henri Bergson, were gathering in a flat in Boulevard Saint-Germain, in Paris, to study a famous medium of Italian origins, Eusapia Palladino (1854-1918), whose possessions and paranormal activities had captured attention from the scientific world. For all these researchers, spirit mediumship needed to be studied not to unmask any magic or tricks, but as possible paranormal exploration of the boundaries of science itself. In this paper, we will explore these themes through the semiotic analysis of a photographic corpus including these and other analogous cases, then examining more closely the work of William Mumler (1832-1884), first example of spirit photographer. By drawing on de Certeau’s definition of glossolalia, based on Saussure’s analysis, as transition from silence to speech, and construction of a vocal place of circulation of meaning, we will examine this corpus as a form of visual glossolalia – in which spirit photography inaugurates a space suspended between non-life and non-death, marking a passage between visible and invisible, between the here and the beyond of world and representation. A space in which ghosts with indefinite contours, portrayed next to the living, show the movement of visual enunciation itself and of its realisation, both questioning and founding at the same time the status of the image. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Mimesis Edizioni en
dc.relation.uri https://mimesisjournals.com/ojs/index.php/ec/article/view/774
dc.rights © 2020 MIM EDIZIONI SRL. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-4.0) en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ en
dc.subject Visual Semiotics en
dc.subject Glossolalia en
dc.subject Spirit Photography en
dc.subject Science en
dc.subject Religion en
dc.title Visual glossolalia. The spiritistic photography between science and religion en
dc.title.alternative Glossolalie visive. La fotografia spiritica tra scienza e religione en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Tatsuma Padoan, Study Of Religions, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: tatsuma.padoan@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.date.updated 2021-01-31T19:11:08Z
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.internal.rssid 553421973
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle E|C Rivista dellâ Associazione Italiana di Studi Semiotici en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes The article is in Open Access policy.
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress tatsuma.padoan@ucc.ie en


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© 2020 MIM EDIZIONI SRL. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-4.0) Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2020 MIM EDIZIONI SRL. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-4.0)
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