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Enchanted Spaces: The Séance, Affect, and Geographies of Religion


Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton Building, Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5GD, U.K., e-mail:


This article calls for the geographies of religion and belief to attend to the sensuous, vitalistic, and affectual forces through which spaces of the religious, spiritual, and the sacred are performed. Not only do we need to recognize and explore these forces themselves, but our analyses of how religious-sacred spaces (re)produce or challenge societal and cultural discourses can also be enhanced if we focus on affect and embodiment. Through the case study of nineteenth-century spiritualism and the key space of the séance, these points are exemplified and substantiated. Finally, I explore some of the implications of recognizing these sensations for the study of geographies of religion and belief through Bennett's (2001) nonreductionist and nonteleological notion of enchantment.