Book Launch: The Art of Ectoplasm: Encounters with Winnipeg’s Ghost Photographs
Join Serena Keshavjee and guests Dr. Murray Leeder, Dr. Shelley Sweeney and artist Chris Dorosz for a discussion of her new book, The Art of Ectoplasm: Encounters with Winnipeg’s Ghost Photographs (University of Manitoba Press), followed by a book-signing.
In the wake of WWI and the 1918-19 pandemic, the world was left grappling with a profound sense of loss. It was against this backdrop that a Winnipeg couple, physician T.G. Hamilton and nurse Lillian Hamilton, began their research, documenting and photographing séances they held in their home laboratory.
Their decades-long study of the survival of human consciousness after death resulted in a stunning collection of photographs, including images of tables flying through the air, mediums in trances, and, most curious of all, ectoplasm—a strange, gauzy substance through which ghosts could apparently manifest.
This fascinating collection reflects on the history and legacy of the startling and abject images produced by Thomas Glendinning and Lillian Hamilton in early 20th century séance experiments following World War I and the 1919 influenza pandemic. As contemporary society continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Art of Ectoplasm offers a compelling look at a chapter in social history not entirely unlike our own.