This book is a groundbreaking attempt to rethink the landscapes of the social world and historical practice by theorising ‘social haunting’: the ways in which the social forms, figures, phantasms and ghosts of the past become present to us time and time again.
Examining the relationship between historical practices such as archaeology and archival work in order to think about how the social landscape is reinvented with reference to the ghosts of the past, the author explores the literary and historical status and accounts of the ghost, not for what they might tell us about these figures, but for their significance for our, constantly re-invented, re-vivified, re-ghosted social world. With chapters on haunted houses and castles, slave ghosts, the haunting airs of music, the prehistoric origin of spirits, Marxist spectres, Freudian revenants, and the ghosts in the machine, Ghosts, Landscapes and Social Memory adopts multi-disciplinary methods for understanding the past, the dead and social ghosts and the landscapes they appear in.
A sociology of haunting that illustrates how social landscapes have their genesis and perpetuation in haunting and the past, this volume will appeal to sociologists and social theorists with interests in memory, haunting and culture.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Ghost Armies: Memory, Landscape and Social Haunting
Chapter 2. Dark Caves: Prehistory and the origins of social ghosts
Chapter 3. Revolutionary Spirits: Marx, Engels and Catastrophe
Chapter 4. Excavating Spectres: Haunting and Psychoanalysis
Chapter 5. Night spaces: The Haunted House
Chapter 6. Zong Spectres: Ghosts of the slave system
Chapter 7. Ghastly fictions: Writing the catastrophe
Chapter 8. Nightvisiting Songs: Performing the dead
Chapter 9. Spectral Machines: Seeing social ghosts
Chapter 10. Conclusions: Arrivals from the future
Martyn Hudson is Associate Researcher and Project Coordinator at Newcastle University of the Co-Curate North-East project, and author of The Slave Ship, Memory and the Origin of Modernity and Centaurs, Rioting in Thessaly: Memory and the Classical World.
'This wide-ranging study of haunting as a social practice carefully excavates and illuminates the dazzling array of literal and metaphorical landscapes - from the prehistoric to the (post)colonial and from the musical to the digital - in which ghosts are sedimented, ready to re-emerge as social forces in the present.' - Esther Peeren, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
'Hudson sets out to write a sociology of haunting, to delineate the ‘social power of the ghost’. Using an associative logic that glides like a spectre through disciplinary boundaries, this book puts Marx, Brecht, Rilke and David Mitchell together, teases ghost stories from ancient landscapes and haunted houses, and even gets grumpy materialist Theodor Adorno together with wide-eyed spiritualist Sir Oliver Lodge to meditate on the capacious possibilities bound up with ideas of social haunting. An absorbing, challenging read.' - Roger Luckhurst, Birkbeck University of London, U.K