Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Gingrich-Philbrook, Craig

Second Advisor

Walker, Rebecca


In this dissertation, I explore the fantasies and paradoxical desires belying spiritual medium performances of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and new media practices of remediation. Forming the organizing construct of this dissertation, spiritual medium performance gives me a medium to explore fantasy as a means of suspending and manipulating audience belief. Through the use of my performance persona, Lucida Fox, I further connect the spiritual medium’s communication with the dead to the practices of remediation meant to summon the influences of obsolete media. Through Lucida, I remediate the past (Chapter 2), future (Chapter 3), and experiment with several spiritualist techniques in the present (Chapter 4). In the final chapter, I address the implications of this research on current discussions within the field of performance studies and conclude by offering future direction of this research.




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