Monday, April 18th: Wonder Shows: Performing Science, Magic, and Religion in America

Wonder Shows: Performing Science, Magic, and Religion in America
Observatory (543 Union St., Brooklyn)
8pm
$5

Tonight at Observatory, Fred Nadis will lecture on the history of “populist” science presentations that have stressed wonders of all sorts – whether spark-emitting cats, mesmerism, mental telepathy, the healing power of electricity, or reports of miraculous alien technologies – as explored in his book Wonder Shows: Performing Science, Magic, and Religion in America. Nadis argues that such shows, with antecedents in the wonder cabinets of the Renaissance, offer audiences utopian promises and meld notions of mechanical advancement with that of enhanced human abilities.