33rd International Panorama Council Conference: 2-4 October 2024
Postdoc Bart Moens is invited to present his paper "Broadening Horizons: The Wayfaring Scenes of Fairground Panoramas (1820-1910)" at the 33rd International Panorama Council Conference organized by the Laboratory for Experimental Museology Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland from 2-4 October 2024.

16th Annual Conference of the International Society for Cultural History: 4-6 September 2024
PhD researchers Gitte Samoy (SciFair) and Hannah Welslau (FWO) will be presenting a paper during the "Bodily Performances as Knowledge in Belgium" panel at the Embodied Histories: Cultural History of, in, and through the Human Body conference at the University of Potsdam in Germany. Other presentations in the panel are by Evelien Jonckheere (UAntwerp), Kurt Vanhoutte (UAntwerp), and Kaat Wils (KU Leuven).

« Le jeu de rôle a 50 ans. Et maintenant, que faites-vous ?... »: 21-22 June 2024

On 22 June, Thibaut Rioult will present "Interfaces ludiques entre système de jeu et fiction : un outil de modélisation au service du game design" at the « Le jeu de rôle a 50 ans. Et maintenant, que faites-vous ?... » État de l’art et perspectives pour le cinquantième anniversaire du jeu de rôle conference at Université Sorbonne Paris Nord sur le campus de Villetaneuse, together with Guillaume Rioult.

Die Geschichte der Bilder in den Blick Nehmen: 28-30 April 2024

On 29 April 2024, SciFair PI Nele Wynants is invited to present her keynote "Unveiling the Vanishing Lady Illusion: Intersections between Theatre Studies and Media Archaeology" during the Die Geschichte der Bilder in den Blick Nehmen. Werner Nekes zum 80. Geburtstag conference. You can download the programme below:

PhD researcher Gitte Samoy becomes Gewina board member: 26 April 2024

During the Spring symposium and membership meeting in Museum Vrolik on Friday 26 April, PhD researcher Gitte Samoy was officially welcomed as a Gewina board member. "As a board member, I will contribute to the wide range of activities organized by Gewina, starting with the upcoming 111th anniversary. I am looking forward to represent and promote Gewina as part of the Flemish delegation."

Performing Magnetism in the Long Nineteenth Century: 18-19 April 2024

On 18 and 19 April, PhD Hannah Welslau (FWO) is organising an international workshop on "Performing Magnetism in the Long Nineteenth Century: Transnational Perspectives", together with Kurt Vanhoutte, Kristof Smeyers, Thibaut Rioult, Gennara Ambrosino, and Eleonora Paklons. More information on the public events (Kaat Wils' lecture on "Magnetism in Belgium from 1830-1848" and the magical theatre performance "Heen en Terug" by Tim Oelbrandt) can be found here.

Wunderkammer of TRUTH: 28 March 2024 - 21 April 2025

SciFair PI Nele Wynants and PhD researcher Gitte Samoy collaborated with GUM Ghent for their exhibition "Wunderkammer of TRUTH", which will be on display from 28 March 2024 until 21 April 2025.

KZM conference 2024: 15 March 2024

On 15 March, B-magic PhD Anse De Weerdt presented "Imperialistisch Lichtspoor: Charles Lemaire, Esperanto en de koloniale strijd via de optische lantaarn in 1906" during the annual conference of the Koninklijke Zuid-Nederlandse Maatschappij voor Taal- en Letterkunde en Geschiedenis (KZM) in Ghent. The full programme can be downloaded below:

Workshop "Digital Tools for the Global History of Science": 27 February 2024

On 27 February, SciFair postdoc Eva Andersen was invited to present at the "Digital Tools for the Global History of Science" workshop at KU Leuven, organised by the research group Cultural History since 1750.

De Grote Illusie - 200 Jaar Virtual Realities: 17 February 2024 - 1 September 2024

SciFair PI Nele Wynants served as a scientific advisor to the Teylers Museum's exhibition De Grote Illusie - 200 Jaar Virtual Realities (The Grand Illusion - 200 years of Virtual Realities), which will be on display from 17 February 2024 until 1 September 2024.

Magie, Histoire et Collections: 18 December 2023

On 18 December, SciFair PI Nele Wynants and B-magic spokesperson Kurt Vanhoutte were invited to present « ‘Sans la science, on ne pourra plus s’amuser!’ Henri Robin et la lanterne magique » at the monthly meeting of the Magie, Histoire et Collections association.

History of Knowledge conference: 22-24 November 2023

On 24 November, SciFair PhD researcher Tim Overkempe presented "Popularizing Science and Technology at the Fairground in 19th century Belgium" at the The History of Knowledge Conference – Uporto 2023 (22-24 Nov. 2023).

Occultism and Popular Culture in Europe: 22-23 November 2023

FWO PhD researcher Hannah Welslau gave a talk on "Otherworldly Amusement: Searching for Spirits at Belgian Fairgrounds" at the international Occultism and Popular Culture in Europe conference (22-23 Nov. 2023) at the University of Copenhagen, organised by the Dark Arts Research Group: Studies in Gothic, Horror and the Occult, 1750-Present. In the same panel, postdoc Thibaut Rioult (ULB) presented "The Re-Enchantment of Magic: Performing Occulture to Revive Illusionism, the Bizarre Magick Movement (60’s-90’s)". B-magic spokesperson Kurt Vanhoutte and Bias in History PhD researcher Eleonora Paklons (both UAntwerp) completed the panel. 

Agents of Concern - Images and Empathy conference at PXL-MAD: 16-18 November 2023

On 17 November, SciFair postdoc Bart G. Moens and B-magic PhD researcher Anse De Weerdt presented “Empathic Projection with the Optical Lantern: The Case of Temperance propaganda (1880-1920)” during the Agents of Concern: Images and Empathy conference at PXL-MAD, School of Arts, Hasselt and Hasselt University (16–18 November 2023).

Session on "Loaded objects" during "Performance studies" course at ULB: 15 November 2023

On 15 November 2023, postdoc Thibaut Rioult gave a session on “The loaded object, support for performance between anthropology and fantastic illusionism” (2 hours), as part of the course "Performance studies: concepts and methods" by Karel Vanhaesebrouck & Marielle Pelissero (Master in Performing Arts, Université Libre de Bruxelles).

14th International Seminar on the Origins and History of Cinema: Visions of the sick body. Physical and Mental Pathologies' Representations in Photography and Early Cinema: 9-10 November 2023

At this International Seminar on the Origins and History of Cinema in Girona, organised by the Museu del Cinema, SciFair PhD researcher Gitte Samoy gave a presentation titled "Pathology as spectacle: the case of the Roca museum".

12th Symposium of the International Society for the History of Radiology: 27-29 October 2023

SciFair PhD researcher Tim Overkempe presented a lecture on "Early X-ray imagery as popular entertainment and new visual media show" at the 12th Symposium of the International Society for the History of Radiology (27-29 Oct. 2023).

New ARIA research fellow: October 2023 - August 2024

A warm welcome to new ARIA research fellow Francesco Melchiorri, whose research "Virtual Reality as a Meeting Ground and Evolution between Media Archaeology and Performing Arts" brings an interesting and refreshing perspective to the historical research of the SciFair team. Francesco will join the ARIA team from October 2023 until August 2024.

FNRS grant for postdoc Thibaut Rioult

Congratulations to postdoc Thibaut Rioult, who received an FNRS grant for his research on “Performing wonders” at the ULB. During his year at SciFair, he worked on “Objets chargés”. We look forward to continue our collaboration and wish Thibaut the best of luck at ULB.

Concluding lecture at the Art, Technique and Production seminar: 16 June 2023

Postdoc Thibaut Rioult presented "« Le » musique, architectonique des systèmes justes: Un savoir unifié des rapports, entre art, science et philosophie, de Pythagore à Vitruve" ["Musiké, the architectonics of "just" systems: A unified knowledge of ratios, between art, science and philosophy, from Pythagoras to Vitruvius"] during the Art, Technique and Production 2022-23 seminar, directed by Pierre Caye (Centre Jean Pépin / Équipe THETA, Théories et Histoire de l’Esthétique, du Technique et des Arts) on 16 June 2023 at Ecole Normale Supérieure (45 rue d'Ulm, Paris) in the "Salle Dussane", 17h-19h.

DHBenelux Conference 2023: 31 May - 2 June 2023

Postdoc Eva Andersen presented her paper "Can we grasp and preserve the fleetingness of 19th-century fairs through digital humanities?" at the 10th DHBenelux conference on Digital Humanities from 31 May - 2 June 2023 at the KBR. She provided insight into why and how the SciFair database was set up, which problems arose, and the projected achievements and preliminary results.

S:PAM-lecture at the University of Ghent: 24 May 2023

Postdoc Evelien Jonckheere was invited to participate in the S:PAM-lectures at the University of Ghent (Vandenhove Paviljoen) on  24 May 2023. In her talk "Faces, Physiognomy and Caricature: on the use of stereo-‘types’ in fin-de-siècle Brussels", Evelien elaborates on her FWO-project.

International conference "Sciences et ésotérisme : représentations, interactions, usages": 12-13 May 2023

Postdoc Thibaut Rioult presented "Les 'Objets chargés' entre sciences et savoirs occultes, aux limites de la connaissance et de l’expérience" at the international conference "Sciences et ésotérisme : représentations, interactions, usages" (FRÉSO23), organized by l’Association francophone pour l’étude universitaire des courants ésotériques (FRÉSO) at Maison des Sciences de l’Homme / Sorbonne (Paris) on 12-13 May 2023.

Visiting scholar Sarah J. Adams at UC Berkeley: 1 February - 12 April 2023

From February 1 until April 12, 2023, postdoc Sarah J. Adams was a visiting scholar at the Institute for European Studies (IES) at UC Berkeley. The IES is the intellectual home of experts in both the cultural history of the Low Countries and innovative postcolonial methods, and it has an intensive programme of panel debates and seminars in which Sarah was able to present her current research on the racialization of the harlequin figure in Dutch comic productions. She also participated in the Dutch Studies Program, which is chaired by her host Prof. Jeroen Dewulf, and gave a public lecture at the IES.

International conference "Magic: Enchantment and Disenchantment / La Magie : enchantement et désenchantement": 27-29 March 2023

In March, postdoc Thibaut Rioult and Prof. Kurt Vanhoutte presented "Enchanting Souvenir: Playing Cards as 'Objets Chargés'", during the International Conference "Magic: Enchantment and Disenchantment / La Magie : enchantement et désenchantement", organized by the Société des Dix-Neuviémistes at the University of Oxford (UK) from 27-29 March 2023.

Journée d’étude "Simone Weil et Michel Foucault" at Couvent de La Tourette: 4 March 2023

On 4 March 2023, postdoc Thibaut Rioult presented "Psychomachie : Penser l’âme, des dispositifs de pouvoirs aux spiritualités politiques chez Weil et Foucault" at the Study Day on "Simone Weil et Michel Foucault", organized by Robert Chenavier (associated professor and Dr. in philosophy), and Pascal David (UCLy), in the context of Rencontres de La Tourette, Couvent de La Tourette (Sainte Marie de La Tourette convent in Eveux).

LUCK fellowship for postdoc Eva Andersen: March 2023

Postdoc Eva Andersen was awarded a fellowship at the Lund Centre for the History of Knowledge (LUCK) in Sweden. She will be a visiting fellow for two weeks in March 2023. During her stay she will present her ongoing research and interact with the centre’s team of historians of knowledge.

Artist residency at La Villette for the Magic WIP Saison #6: 16-18 and 27-28 February 2023

For the Magic WIP Saison #6, postdoc Thibaut Rioult was invited by the theatre company Le Phalène to work with Antoine Leduc on the staging of "fantastic illusionism" (an art form using "objets chargés" and real antiquities on and off stage), during a 5-day artist residency at La Villette in Paris.

Lecture at University of Marburg: 16 January 2023

SciFair PI Nele Wynants was invited to give a lecture at the University of Marburg on 16 January 2023 entitled "Performing science and popular culture in modern Europe: the magic lantern and the fairground".

Großkundgebung des Deutschen Schaustellerbundes: 13-16 January 2023

Between 13 and 16 January, SciFair PI Nele Wynants was invited to participate in the ceremonial opening of the Großkundgebung des Deutschen Schaustellerbundes (Grand Assembly of the German Showmen's Association) in Kassel (Germany).

Wetenschap Centraal: 14 December 2022

SciFair PI Nele Wynants was invited to Wetenschap Centraal, the UAntwerp science cafe (in collaboration with Bibliotheek Permeke) on 14 December 2022.

"Journée d’étude Méliès et l’art magique": 9 December 2022

SciFair PI Nele Wynants was invited to speak at the international seminar "Journée d’étude Méliès et l’art magique" at the Cinémathèque française in Paris on 9 December.

"Spectacular Devices: Visual, Literary and Material Cultures of Wonder in the Long 19th Century" conference: 1-2 December 2022

PhD Tim Overkempe presented his paper "Between the laboratory and the fairground. X-ray imagery as a spectacular new visual medium in the Belle Epoque" during the first panel "Spectacular Wonders" of the Spectacular Devices conference at the University of Lausanne on 1 December. Download the programme here:

FWO grant for PhD Hannah Welslau: October 2022

In October 2022, PhD Hannah Welslau received an FWO grant for her PhD research project "Staging the Supernatural. The Role of Theatre, Science and Media in the Rise and Fall of Spiritualist Performances in Belgium, 1830-1930". This PhD project will map and analyse the ways in which spiritualism, popular entertainment, science and religion were dynamically interconnected in Belgium between 1830 and 1930.

The History of Emotions in the Low Countries, a state of the art meeting / Dag van de Emotiegeschiedenis: 7 October 2022

PhD Hannah Welslau and Bart Moens (B-magic, ULB) were invited to present their posters during the Dag van de Emotiegeschiedenis's poster session on 7 October at the Radboud Institute for Culture & History in Nijmegen.

"Les spectacles de curiosités en Europe de la Révolution française à la fin du XIXe siècle": 29-30 September 2022

SciFair PI Nele Wynants participated in the international colloquium "Les spectacles de curiosités en Europe de la Révolution française à la fin du XIXe siècle" at Clermont-Ferrand on 29-30 September 2022.

International Society for Intellectual History Conference 2022: 12-15 September 2022

PhD Anse De Weerdt presented her paper "Charles Lemaire and His Travelling Colonial Pictures" at the ISIH Conference in Venice on 15 September 2022. The conference, organised by University of Venice, was on the topic of Histories of Knowledge: Political, Historical and Cultural Epistemologies in Intellectual History and was guest hosted by the ERC. Anse joined the panel on Travel, Expeditions and Knowledge to expand on Lemaire's lecture during the second world conference of the Esperanto community in Geneva (1906).

IFTR World Congress 2022: 20-24 June 2022

Postdocs Sarah Adams and Eva Andersen, and SciFair PI Nele Wynants presented a panel at the IFTR World Congress 2022, 20-24 June in Reykjavik, Iceland. The panel was entitled “Circulating Knowledge across North-Western Europe through Performance and Entertainment” and showcased three related research projects on itinerant popular theatre and fairground entertainment in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and their role in processes of knowledge circulation and transmission from European centre cities to peripheral provinces.

9th Gewina Conference: 17-18 June 2022

The SciFair team members presented posters of their individual projects at the 9th Gewina Conference Contested Expertise: Trust in Science and Technology, 17-18 June 2022 in Zeist.

S:PAM-lectures at the University of Ghent: 18 May 2022

SciFair PI Nele Wynants and postdoc Evelien Jonckheere were invited to participate in the S:PAM-lectures at the University of Ghent (Vandenhove Paviljoen) on 18 May 2022. In her talk entitled "Circus and Fairground History as Intangible Cultural Heritage: Challenges and Opportunities" Nele addressed a few challenges and opportunities of the SciFair project. Evelien introduced her new FWO-project "Physiognomic culture in popular performance: on the use of stereo-‘types’ in fin-de-siècle Brussels".

The B-magic Final Conference: 4-7 May 2022

The B-magic Final Conference "The Magic Lantern in Leisure, Entertainment and Popular Culture" took place on 5-7 May 2022 at the Photography museum (FOMU). The preconference event was held on on 4 May 2022 at the Royal Film Archive of Belgium - CINEMATEK, 9 Rue Baron Horta, 1000 Brussels. Postdoc Eva Andersen, and PhD's Tim OverkempeGitte SamoyHannah Welslau and Anse De Weerdt presented posters of their individual projects.

History of Knowledge seminar of the Lund Centre for the History of Knowledge: 20 April 2022

Postdoc Eva Andersen and SciFair PI Nele Wynants were invited to present the Science at the Fair-project at the History of Knowledge seminar of the Lund Centre for the History of Knowledge (LUCK) at Lund University.

New team members: February - May 2022

Since February 2022, Gitte Samoy and Hannah Welslau joined the team as PhD students, Tim Overkempe started as a PhD in May.

Research Day: 22 March 2022

SciFair PI Nele Wynants introduced the SciFair project at the yearly Research Day of UAntwerp’s Faculty of Arts on 22 March 2022.