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I completed my doctoral studies in History at the University of British Columbia in October 2016, and am currently travelling in Europe.
I will be giving a talk on my historical research on the poltergeist at Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie und Psychohygiene (IGPP), in English, the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, in Freiburg, Germany on Nov. 30.
My latest publication is “The Poltergeist at the Intersection of the Spirit and the Material: Some Historical and Contemporary Observations” in Jeffrey J. Kripal’s edited volume Super Religion. In it, I provide background on religious ideas about the poltergeist in relation to material and affective experiences.
I also have recently published an essay,”The Transmediumizers,” co-written with the speculative fiction writer Eden S. French. It appears in Damned Facts: Fortean Essays on Religion, Folklore, and the Paranormal, edited by the anthropologist Jack Hunter, founder of the journal Paranthropology, and featuring a preface by the historian of religions Jeffrey J. Kripal. Our essay argues that we have clearly entered what the American writer Charles Fort referred to as “Intermediatism,” an era in which humans truly are able to become transhumans – beyond human.
Who Am I?
I go by Christopher, and my last name is pronounced in English as Lar’sen. I am a Canadian writer and researcher, trained as a journalist and historian. In addition to my scholarly research, I work in print, broadcast, film, and new media. I aim to bridge multimedia, scholarship, and public education in my work. I teach online and in-person courses on modern history, particularly in North America, Europe, and the world, with thematic concentrations on religion, science, and the environment. I conduct public seminars, workshops, and media work on my research.
What Do I Study?
My research focuses on how people experience and study physical and tangible phenomena that has eluded easy scientific or medical explanation. I specialize in studying experiences and phenomena that are extraordinary or unusual (often called paranormal, psychosomatic, spiritual, or mystical) that tend to transform the lives of those who experience them. These things deeply influence the cultural imagination. And they tend to be controversial. My doctoral research project examines how people reimagined the poltergeist phenomenon as a psychokinetic force – that is, people who were the focus of these spontaneous physical events were thought to somehow affect their physical environments with power of mind. My next step is to expand that study as a book-length project, Mischievous Forces.
How Can You Follow My Work?
I will list upcoming news, talks, and projects right here, or you can follow my Facebook page.