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Reception to follow. 

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Tuesday, September 3, at 10 a.m. 

To celebrate the opening of the USC Libraries’ exhibition Spectral Science: Visions of the World Beyond, magic lanternist, animator, and filmmaker Melissa Ferrari will stage a theatrical performance inspired by the phantasmagoria—a 19th-century visual technique featuring fantastical and dreamlike imagery that shaped early movies, animation, and entertainment culture.  

Using original magic lantern glass slides of Alice in Wonderland along with new slides created in collaboration with historian of science and USC Libraries inaugural Carrollian Fellow Franziska E. Kohlt, Ferrari will transform the iconic Los Angeles Times Reference Room into an immersive, surreal fantasia of hallucinatory imagery inspired by Victorian spiritualism, the Alice story, and visual techniques employed by the magic lantern device.  

Attendees will also learn about the history of magic lantern shows and get a firsthand view of original projecting devices and glass slides. 

Phantasmagoria: Lighting the World Beyond is the second of three events exploring the surprising intersections of science, illusion, and spiritualism in support of the exhibition Spectral Science: Visions of the World Beyond at Doheny Memorial Library.  

Related events: 

Spectral Science: Conjuring the Invisible World
Wednesday, October 23, 2024, at 6 p.m.  
Doheny Memorial Library 
For more info, click HERE

The Magic Castle 
Sunday, November 17, 2024, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
The Magic Castle, Hollywood 
For more info, click HERE

Presented by USC Visions and Voices. Organized by Rebecca Corbett, Tyson Gaskill, Anne-Marie Maxwell, Derek Christian Quezada Meneses (USC Libraries), and Franziska Kohlt (USC Libraries Carrollian Fellow).

Photo: William Hope, A Séance, circa 1920

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