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Invisible Hosts
Performing the Nineteenth-Century Spirit Medium's Autobiography
Invisible Hosts
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Elizabeth Schleber Lowry - Author
Price: $80.00 
Hardcover - 186 pages
Release Date: September 2017
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6599-9

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Provides a rhetorical analysis of female spirit mediums’ autobiographies in the historical and social contexts of Victorian-era America.

Invisible Hosts explores how the central tenets of Spiritualism influenced ways in which women conceived of their bodies and their civic responsibilities, arguing that Spiritualist ideologies helped to lay the foundation for the social and political advances made by women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As public figures, female spirit mediums of the Victorian era were often accused of unfeminine (and therefore transgressive) behavior. A rhetorical analysis of nineteenth-century spirit mediums’ autobiographies reveals how these women convinced readers of their authenticity both as respectable women and as psychics. The author argues that these women’s autobiographies reflect an attempt to emulate feminine virtues even as their interpretation and performance of these virtues helped to transform prevailing gender stereotypes. She demonstrates that the social performance central to the production of women’s autobiography is uniquely complicated by Spiritualist ideology. Such complications reveal new information about how women represented themselves, gained agency, and renegotiated nineteenth-century gender roles.

Elizabeth Schleber Lowry is Lecturer in Rhetoric and Composition at Arizona State University.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. Something in a Stranger's Experience: Evangelical and Spiritualist Women's Autobiography

2. Intoxicating Notoriety: Why Mediums Couldn't Quite Be "True" Women

3. The Great Master Medium: Spiritualism, Casuistry, and Christian Discourse

4. Home Sweet Home: Constructions of Domesticity, Embodiment, and the Public Sphere

5. Pure Intentions and Filthy Lucre: Relationality and the Rhetorical Implications of Endorsement and Patronage

6. Deep Trance: Corporeality, Dualism, and Submission

7. Indecorous Indecorum: Prophetic Women, Travel Writing, and the Politics of Virtue

Conclusion: Autobiographical Ends

Notes
Bibliography
Index


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4-6599-9/4-6600-2(AL/RM/MC)

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