Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Absenting death and visualizing ghosts  
Michele Hanks (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Paper long abstract:

In contemporary England, there has been an explosion of interest in all things ghostly and paranormal. Self-fashioned groups of amateur ghost hunters regularly attempt to 'scientifically' document the existence of ghosts. The paradox of ghost hunting is that death is at once central and yet strangely absent. Ghost hunters interpret death as the condition of possibility that enables the emergence of ghosts and, yet, in the course of ghost hunting, discussions of death remain absent. This paper argues that contemporary popular technoscientific engagements with ghosts paradoxically render death invisible, while seeking to visualize the traces of dead individuals. Death becomes implicitly incorporated into a naturalizing and technoscientifically mediated discourse that renders the crisis of death incidental in a naturally unfolding human trajectory that does not end in death. By setting out to experience and document ghosts, ghost hunters creatively transform the absences engendered by death into fertile fields ripe for 'scientific' documentation.

Panel W013
Death and imagination: creative strategies to embrace and avoid the crisis of death
  Session 1