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Michael Grasso
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Entangled Objects, Week 5: Food Stuff
Like most folks who read and enjoyed Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle in the early '00s, I was influenced by his vivid portrayal of the coffee houses of Restoration, Jacobite, and Glorious Revolution London. Posited as loci where the new rising class of natu...

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Entangled Objects, Week 4: Literary Stuff
One thing that reading  The Prose of Things: Transformations of Description in the Eighteenth Century by Cynthia Sundberg Wall amply demonstrated to me is what a lacuna I have when it comes to 18th century British literature. I'm conversant with the Restora...

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Entangled Objects, Week 3: The Power of Touch
Let me preface my look at these two books for Week 3 of Entangled Objects with a small proviso: from 1993 to 1997, I studied medieval History and Literature as an undergraduate. My focus was mostly on vernacular literature in Middle English, Old French, and...

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Entangled Objects, Week 2: Inner Voice & Transitional Spaces
Well, given the stated aims of this pair of books, it's going to be hard for me to not present my personal, emotional impressions. Both of these essay collections are edited by Sherry Turkle of MIT, date to the late '00s, and discuss human relationships wit...

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A New Series on Renfusa: Entangled Objects, Week 1: Introduction
As I've mentioned in previous posts, Renfusa's been on a fairly fallow posting schedule due to a big change in my life a year ago. It's been just about a year since I took a part-time position at Harvard's Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments . I...

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The Material Culture of 1970s Paranormal Researchers: "Into the Unknown," Reader's Digest, Part 2
Last week we looked at some great images from Reader's Digest's Into the Unknown from 1981. Here's the back half of that collection, similarly annotated. Again, a lot going on in this set of photos. Legendary stage magician/professional and skeptic/debunker...

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The Material Culture of 1970s Paranormal Researchers: "Into the Unknown," Reader's Digest, Part 1
I may not have spoken in these pages before about how much I love that 1970s moment where  science and pseudoscience start inexorably creeping towards each other , and the visual and material culture that results from it. I have mentioned in these pages how...

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Il Cornicello e Il Malocchio
I haven't talked about my ancestry very much in these pages so far, but I'm half-Italian, half-Irish, a pretty common combination where I come from and a pair of ethnicities rich in both real and perceived myth and folklore. The Irish side, well, I wouldn't...

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