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The invisible made visible

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journal contribution
posted on 12.11.2015, 11:36 by Simone Natale
This article focuses on the early history of X-rays. It argues that, during the first years after their discovery in 1895 by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, they were regarded as a technological attraction and a visual medium. While their application in medical practice was not yet fully established, the possibility of seeing into the realm of the invisible encouraged pioneers of this technology to actively exploit their visual powers. By using a media-history framework, and relying on primary and secondary sources in English, German, French, and Italian, the article takes into account three aspects of the rays' early display: its character of technological attraction; its association with photography; and its connection to beliefs in the supernatural and the occult.

Funding

Research that lead to the publication of this article was conducted thanks to a Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Research Fellowship at the University of Cologne, Germany, under the supervision of Prof. Irmela Schneider, and a Roberto Radicati Scholarship awarded by the National Cinema Museum Association of Torino, Italy, under the supervision of Prof. Peppino Ortoleva.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Media History

Volume

17

Issue

4

Pages

345 - 358

Citation

NATALE, S., 2011. The invisible made visible. Media History, 17 (4), pp. 345 - 358

Publisher

© Taylor & Francis

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2011

Notes

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Media History on 29th July 2011, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13688804.2011.602856

ISSN

1368-8804

eISSN

1469-9729

Language

en