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Study of Psychic Phenomena: Mediumship, Spirit Guides, Table Levitations, Ectoplasm, and Photography: Presenters

Presenters:

Archivist Brian Hubner, MA (Archival Studies, University of Manitoba) works with the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections. He has presented conference papers on the Hamilton Family Fonds (HFF), including “The Spirit Photography of the T.G. Hamilton Fonds” and “The Hamilton Family Fonds and Community Engagement.” In 2021, Brian received his PhD from The University of Amsterdam, for his thesis “‘The Ghostly Shadow’ in the Archives.” In March 2022, he presented the HFF as part of a panel discussion for the “Archiving the Impossible” conference at Rice University, Houston.

Serena Keshavjee is a professor of Art and Architectural history at the University of Winnipeg. Her publications focus on the intersections between art and science in the 19th and 20th century, including “Science and the Visual Culture of Spiritualism: Camille Flammarion and the Symbolists in Fin-de-Siècle France” (Aries, 2013). In 2009, she edited a special issue of Canadian Art Review (RACAR). Keshavjee received a SSHRC grant in 2019 to contextualize the “ghost” photographs in the Hamilton Family Fonds, resulting in the exhibition The Undead Archive and the edited collection The Art of Ectoplasm (University of Manitoba Press, 2023).

Walter Meyer zu Erpen, MAS (UBC), is an archives consultant. He began exploring Spiritualism in 1975 and co-founded the Survival Research Institute of Canada in 1991. Based upon historical study and experiential observation, he has lectured and published about Canadian cases of physical séance phenomena. Walter is the Canadian representative of the Parapsychology Foundation and active in Preserving the Historical Collections of Parapsychology initiatives. In November 2021, his essay “Pursuit of Best Evidence for Survival of Human Consciousness after Permanent Bodily Death” was acknowledged with a $20,000 honourable mention award in the Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies (BICS) contest.

Associate Professor Heidi Rimke, PhD, is a Sociologist and Criminologist at the University of Winnipeg, with over 30 years of experience studying the human sciences in historical and contemporary contexts. Her wide-ranging publications cover diverse social scientific subjects, including the survival hypothesis (continuation of consciousness after bodily death). She has presented her research internationally, has forthcoming chapters in a two-volume academic anthology exploring the question of life after death, and is presently conducting research on the ascent of the afterlife in Western society. An area of interest for decades, Professor Rimke teaches specialized university courses on “Afterlife Studies.”

Shannon Taggart is a photographer and author based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her photographs have appeared in TIME, Newsweek, New York Times Magazine, Discover, Wall Street Journal, and Reader’s Digest. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Stephen Cohen Gallery (Los Angeles), the Photographic Resource Center (Boston), the Robert Mann Gallery (New York), and the Gallery of Everything (London). Her first monograph, Séance (Fulgur Press, 2019; Atelier Éditions, 2022), was named one of TIME Magazine’s “Best Photobooks of 2019.” Photographs from Séance are currently traveling as a solo exhibition. For more information, visit shannontaggart.com.

Anna Thurlow is the daughter of anthropologist Libbet Crandon de Malamud and the great-granddaughter of Mina (Stinson) Crandon, the Canadian-born Boston medium who was internationally known as “Margery.” Anna maintains the Libbet Crandon de Malamud Collection. She works in the compliance sector of the financial services industry. The recently published biographical sketch of Margery’s brother and spirit guide Walter Stuart Stinson (Magazine of the Society for Psychical Research, no. 7 (2022)) results from an 18-year collaboration between Anna Thurlow and Walter Meyer zu Erpen.

Psychic investigator Anton Wagner was a founding executive member of the Association for Canadian Theatre Research and has edited ten books on Canadian theatre and drama. He was the Director of Research and Managing Editor of The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, published by Routledge. He holds doctorates in drama (University of Toronto) and theatre (York University). Anton has produced and directed ten documentaries on arts and culture, including Our Hiroshima on Canada, Mackenzie King, and the atom bomb. His two-volume revisionist biography of Mackenzie King, The Spiritualist Prime Minister, has been accepted for publication by White Crow Books (UK).