The Magic Lantern and its Cultural Impact as a Visual Mass Medium in Belgium


Long before social media, cinema and PowerPoint presentations, images were an important means of communication. The magic lantern, or ‘laterna magica’, was a fascinating and instructive tool, which was especially popular in the 19th century. The invention was used to project transparent images onto glass slides on the walls of theatres, schools and people’s homes. Travelling showmen with lanterns on their backs also put on public lantern shows at fairs.

The B-magic project will write the as yet unwritten history of the magic lantern as a mass medium in Belgium. In doing so, it will make an essential contribution to the study of the country’s cultural history as well as to international media historiography.

Read more | Dutch summary | French summary

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    The third B-magic newsletter is available!
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    B-magic vacancies
    The B-magic project will host six PhD candidates and one postdoc candidate. Vacancies are now published and open until July 2, 2018 (PhD) and July 21, 2018 (postdoc).


Kurt Vanhoutte
Spokesperson - Coordinator
University of Antwerp
Stadscampus, D.119
Prinsstraat 13
2000 Antwerp

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