'Hauntology: A Critical Introduction provides an exciting, accessible and interdisciplinary introduction to hauntology, an approach in cultural studies that has recently experienced a huge surge in popular attention. Analysing Derrida’s original writings on hauntology as well as discussing criticisms and uses through the analysis of a range of contemporary cultural forms, this text is the first secondary resource concerning hauntology available to the reading public the world over. The book argues that hauntology offers a fascinating and powerful means of reading contemporary culture. Investigating an innate paradox of being and non-being, hauntology provides a way of understanding the spectral nature of the past and it’s informing presence in today’s world. Exploring the history and uses of hauntology to date, the study analyses key themes (such as ghosts / supernatural / haunting of the past) through a carefully selected range of cultural examples from literature, film, music and architecture. Beginning with an overview of Derrida’s work and critical debates surrounding hauntology, the book goes on to apply hauntology as a critical approach to contemporary culture. Each chapter examines a different way of using hauntology and illustrates its arguments with close reading of apposite texts. As an interdisciplinary work, the book explores a variety of cultural examples to demonstrate how the critical understandings established and debated by the introductory chapter can be put to use by critical readers in their own fields of study. The text will conclude with a consideration of hauntology as a critical approach for the new millennium.'
From Western Journal of Communication, October 1st 2007
'Medium theory, most often in the phrase "the medium is the message," has had a contentious history vis-a-vis media and cultural studies. This essay argues that, along with that of Karl Marx, the spirits of Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, and Martin Heidegger haunt us on a regular basis in media and cultural studies. If they already exist in ghostly form, perhaps by exorcising them through the logic of the specter, we can allow them to comingle with the living via historical materialism, Marxism, and phenomenology, along with a Heideggerian "questing for technics."' - Marc Leverette
'In Spectres of Marx (1993), Derrida delivered on an old promise to write about the founder of historical materialism. He took off from the first line in The Communist Manifesto, ‘A spectre is haunting Europe,’ portraying Marx as obsessed with ghosts: the inventor of what he called ‘hauntology’. With the collapse of communism, Marx himself had become a ghost, as an entire generation of French intellectuals, from Lévy and Glucksmann to Sollers and Kristeva, denounced him as fervently as they had once embraced him. Once again, Derrida was luxuriating in philosophy’s figurative language. Yet his denunciations of the new world order, and his insistence that the spectre of Marx would continue to haunt capitalism, revealed an old-fashioned moral outrage he might have once found embarrassing, even suspect.' Adam Shatz
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