Wonder Shows: Performing Science, Magic, and Religion in America

wonder-shows-cover-final1An Illustrated lecture with Fred Nadis
Date: Monday April 18th
Time: 8:00
Admission: $5

Presented by Morbid Anatomy
** Books will be available for sale and signing

Tonight at Observatory, Fred Nadis will lecture on the history of “populist” science presentations that have stressed wonders of all sorts – whether spark-emitting cats, mesmerism, mental telepathy, the healing power of electricity, or reports of miraculous alien technologies – as explored in his book Wonder Shows: Performing Science, Magic, and Religion in America. Nadis argues that such shows, with antecedents in the wonder cabinets of the Renaissance, offer audiences utopian promises and meld notions of mechanical advancement with that of enhanced human abilities.

Fred Nadis received a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He taught American Studies at Doshisha University in Kyoto and is a past fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. He writes about media and technology—most recently about the history of rollercoasters and pioneering reality television (and radio) of Allen Funt. Currently, he is a historical consultant and editor and lives in Santa Barbara, California.

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