PhD-seminar: Repetition.

  • Date: 8 May, 2019
  • Venue: COMU, UCL, Ruelle de la lanterne magique 14, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Room D.144
  • Time: 11:30-16:30


11:30-12:30 Sigrid Leyssen, The sign of the cross, a tip of the hat, typewriting writ large: Light lines and glass slides from the psychological laboratory.

In this talk, I explore the hybrid media used in the psychological laboratory. For his research of the interwar period, the Louvain experimental psychologist Albert Michotte (1881-1965) and his students used an interconnected mixture of introspection, photo-cinematographic, electro-tactile, and projection techniques to study the morphology of human movement. I will focus on the role of glass slides and projection apparatuses in this multimedia constellation that was meant to show how psychology could be a psychology of action without being behaviourist; to demonstrate the objectivity of psychological introspection techniques; and to value individual differences in reaction to scientific management studies and their role in the pervasive mechanisation and standardization of human movements.

Sigrid Leyssen is a postdoctoral researcher in the history of science and media. In her work and teaching she explores how media and science have been intertwined. She has a PhD (2017) in History of Science from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris, and in Media studies from the Universität Regensburg. In her dissertation Perception in Movement. Moving Images in Albert Michotte's Experimental Psychology (1881-1965), she pursued a history of moving images used in perception experiments, and through these, she explored ways to study the history of our perception. She now works as academic assistant and lecturer (Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin) at the Media Studies department of the Bauhaus-University Weimar. 

12:30-14:00 Lunch break

14:00-15:00 Natalija Majsova, The analytical value of repetition within the lantern dispositif: On (re)turns to the Mundaneum in Mons.

The talk will take us back to the Mundaneum in Mons, and its impressive collection of Léon Losseau’s projection slides. Some of them have been creatively re-used, in order to feature as part of the Mundaneum’s 2014 exhibition “Signes des temps - oeuvres visionnaires d’avant 1914”, together with glass plates from other sets, composing an imaginary, and highly symbolic iconography of the world of the late 19th/early 20th century. Others dwell quietly in the reserves. Exploring and examining both the exhibition and the collection, I will highlight the multifaceted value of repetition as a concept, and an analytical device with interpretative potency. What does it mean to collect, and then to re-collect, re-use or re-appropriate a collection? How does the format of an exhibition re-create, and at the same time alter narratives? In which ways does Losseau’s iconography of the world relate to the one exhibited in 2014? Relying on these questions, I will explore repetition in terms of its four basic matrices (inflation, deflation, production, and transformation) and related the concept to various aspects of the lantern dispositif.

Natalija Majsova is a B-magic postdoctoral researcher at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, and adjunct assistant professor in cultural studies at the University of Ljubljana.

15:00-15:15 Coffee break

15.15-16:30 B-magic PhD candidates’ “work-in-progress” presentations (in the order of the presenters’ preference) + discussion.

  • Adeline Werry, UCL. Narratological approaches to the magic lantern and its slides for children. The Belgian case between 1830 and 1940.
  • Wouter Egelmeers, KUL. Education through Images. The Magic Lantern in Belgian Schools, 1830-1940.