Campus: Guelph
Office: 2016 MacKinnon Extension
Email: slachap@uoguelph.ca

Sofie Lachapelle has been at the University of Guelph since January 2005. Her work deals with the history of science, particularly the history of the interactions of science, culture, religion, and entertainment in modern France.  Her recent monograph Conjuring Science: A History of Scientific Entertainment and Stage Magic in Modern France (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) explores the relationship of science, magic and entertainment in nineteenth and early twentieth-century France, focusing on the world of conjurers and magic shows. She is presently working on the history of scientific toys and amusing science for children and collaborating on a project dealing with the relationship of opera, vocal pedagogy, and medicine in late-nineteenth-century France.

Selected Publications:

  • Investigating the Supernatural: From Spiritism and Occultism to Psychical Research and Metapsychics in France, 1853-1931. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.
  • with Jenna Healey, “On Hans, Zou and the Others: Wonder Animals and the Question of Animal Intelligence in Early Twentieth-Century France.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological & Biomedical Sciences 41 (2010): 12-20.
  • “Science on Stage: Recreational Physics, White Magic, and Scientific Wonder at the Nineteenth-Century French Theatre.” History of Science 47, part 3, no. 157 (September 2009): 297-315.
  • “From the Stage to the Laboratory: Magicians, Psychologists, and the Science of Illusion.” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 44, no. 4 (Autumn 2008): 319-334.
  • “Educating Idiots: Utopian Ideals and Practical Organization Regarding Idiocy in Nineteenth-Century French Asylums.” Science in Context 20 (2007)
  • “Attempting Science: The Creation and Early Development of the Institut Métapsychique International in Paris, 1919-1931.” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 41 (2005), 1-24.
  • “Between Miracle and Sickness: Louise Lateau and the Experience of Stigmata and Ecstasy.” Configurations 12 (2004), 77-105.
  • Conjuring Science: A History of Scientific Entertainment and Stage Magic in Modern France (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
  • with Heena Mistry, “From the Waters of the Empire to the Tanks of Paris: The Creation and Early Years of the Aquarium Tropical, Palais de la Porte Dorée,” Journal of the History of Biology 47 (2014): 1-27.