Between Science and Spectacle: Hypnosis on the Belgian Theatre Scene, 1875–1900This article focuses on the performances of itinerant magnetiser/hypnotist Donato and on the public debate he generated on his travels throughout Europe. Around this time, magnetism was increasingly being presented in a new form – hypnotism – which walked the line between scientific experiment and public spectacle, navigating the realms of alternative medicine and of recognised medical therapies. This article explores Donato’s use of the trappings of science in his shows, his relationships with the medical and scientific communities, and the ban on public demonstrations of hypnotism that was introduced in Belgium in 1892. While the Belgian law revealed just how unequal the battle between magnetisers and physicians really was, it did not result in a decisive victory for the medical community, nor did it spell an end to hypnosis shows. However, it did herald the end of a brief period of intense exchange between magnetisers and academics.

hypnose, magnetisme, theater, wetenschap, negentiende eeuw
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
TMG Journal for Media History; Vol 20, No 2 (2017): Spektakelcultuur in de Lage Landen; 54-73

Wils, Kaat. (2017). Tussen wetenschap en spektakel. Hypnose op de Belgische theaterscène, 1875–1900*. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 20(2), 54–73. doi:10.18146/2213-7653.2017.332