|The opening slide to what The Billionth Monkey calls a "dry, academic presentation" ( p. 30):|
my paper for the 2006 MAPACA conference.
The only other conference that I’ve found to be as much fun is the Association for the Study of Esotericism, where I wanted to attend every single paper session simultaneously.
The idea behind my presentation was that Spiritualism was not only a place where women had unprecedented status and influence in an otherwise disempowering society, but that Spiritualism often served as a gateway for them or their clients to more esoteric organizations such as the Theosophical Society, Golden Dawn, etc. For those interested in reading more about the connections between Spiritualism and women’s rights, these two books are indispensible:
Alex Owen. The Darkened Room: Women, Power, and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.
Ann Braude. Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women's Rights in Nineteenth-Century America. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989.