Determined Spirits: Eugenics, Heredity, and Racial Regeneration in Anglo-American Spiritualist Writing, 1848-1930

Ferguson, C. (2012) Determined Spirits: Eugenics, Heredity, and Racial Regeneration in Anglo-American Spiritualist Writing, 1848-1930. Series: Edinburgh critical studies in Victorian culture. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh. ISBN 9780748639656

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Abstract

Studying transatlantic spiritualist literature from the mid-19th to the early 20th century, Christine Ferguson focuses on its incorporation and dissemination of bio-determinist and eugenic thought. She asks why ideas about rational reproduction, hereditary determinism and race improvement became so important to spiritualist novelists, journalists and biographers in this period. She also examines how these concerns drove emerging Spiritualist understandings of disability, intelligence, crime, conception, the afterlife and aesthetic production. The book draws on rare material, including articles and serialized fiction from Spiritualist periodicals such as Light, The Two Worlds and The Medium and Daybreak as well as on Spiritualist healing, parentage and sex manuals.

Item Type:Books
Keywords:Spiritualism, eugenics, nineteenth-century literature, mental disability, criminal anthropology, naturalism, sex magic
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ferguson, Dr Christine
Authors: Ferguson, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
ISBN:9780748639656
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
518251Determined Spirits: Eugenics, Heredity and Racial Hygiene in Transatlantic Spiritualist Writing, 1848 - 1910.Christine FergusonArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/H034404/1English Literature