Exploring Academic Reading: Mediumship, Intuition and the Academy

PhD Thesis

Julia Moore 2021. Exploring Academic Reading: Mediumship, Intuition and the Academy. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Teacher Education
AuthorsJulia Moore
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy

The thesis is concerned with experiences of reading academically, and explores ways in which intuitive techniques, including ones derived from practices of mediumship, can be used as tools to experience reading. The thesis is rooted in my experiences of reading and writing in the academic context, but it is hoped that the theoretical discussion and empirical explorations will have wider resonances.
The thesis has two parts. In the first, theoretical section I look at attempts to understand mediumship and, more generally, experiences of the paranormal, and aim to develop a theoretical understanding of intuition which both underpins the empirical part of the thesis and offers methods to use empirically. My theoretical understanding of intuition evolves from dissatisfaction with some attempts to explain mediumship, which appear to be based on a binary division between the objective and subjective. I use theories from Husserlian phenomenology, particularly Gendlin’s ideas, to develop a body-based phenomenological approach to intuition. Ideas from recent discussions of free association and psychoanalysis, specifically Bollas, Barrett, Lothane and (particularly) Totton also contribute, as does Lecercle’s notion, rooted in Deleuze’s philosophy of language, of délire.
In the empirical part of the thesis I explore intuitive (understood in the theoretical context briefly outlined above) practices as applied to reading academic texts. Material was collected during six research groups, each themed around a different aspect of intuition and each underpinned theoretically and shaped practically by the literature I explored. In these groups participants took part in a number of exercises designed to use creative and embodied methods to connect with the unconscious and intuition, and to explore different approaches to reading, including relaxation and body awareness, free association, psychometry (‘blind’ reading of texts), focusing and the felt sense, and collaborative drawing and creative writing.
These results are explained, and the implications of the results considered in terms of the theoretical material.

KeywordsAcademic Reading; Mediumship; Intuition
File Access Level
Supplemental file
File Access Level
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Sep 2022
Permalink -


  • 14
    total views
  • 4
    total downloads
  • 3
    views this month
  • 2
    downloads this month

Export as