Chapter

Staging the Hypnotic Crime

Stefan Andriopoulos

in Possessed

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780226020549
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226020570 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226020570.003.0004
Staging the Hypnotic Crime

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This chapter shows that a fundamental theatricality also marked late nineteenth-century medical research into the forensic significance of hypnosis. Striving to establish the possibility of real criminal suggestions, medical researchers staged the “strange spectacle” of artificial hypnotic crimes. The physicians presented these simulations—enacted with wooden daggers and blank cartridges—as evidence for the unlimited power of suggestion. Skeptical opponents, however, criticized these “fake crimes,” denouncing them as scientifically worthless “performance” and “comedy.”

Keywords: medical research; hypnosis; artifical hypnotic crimes; fake crimes; criminal suggestion

Chapter.  9510 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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