Affects, Archives, Ethics
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This book is about some of the ways we remember the dead through performance. It examines the dramaturgical techniques and strategies that enable artists to respond to the imperative: ‘Remember Me’ – the command King Hamlet’s ghost gives to his son in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, Hamlet. The book develops the concept of hauntological dramaturgy by engaging with a series of performances that commemorate, celebrate, investigate, and sometimes seek justice for the dead.
It draws on three interrelated discourses on haunting: Derrida’s hauntology with its ethical exhortation to be with ghosts and listen to the ghosts; Abraham and Torok’s psychoanalytic account of the role spectres play in the transmission of intergenerational trauma; and, finally, Mark Fisher and Simon Reynolds’ development of Derrida’s ideas within the field of popular culture. Taken together, these writers, in different ways, suggest strategies for reading and creating performances concerned with questions of commemoration. Case studies focus on a set of known and unknown figures, including Ian Charleson, Spalding Gray and David Bowie.
This study will be of great interest to students, scholars and practitioners working within theatre and performance studies as well as philosophy and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Hauntological Dramaturgy
Chapter 1: Memorialisation, Memory and Practices of Archival Care
Chapter 2: Re-Member Me: Ian Charleson
Chapter 3: The Anarchival Reactivation of Rumstick Road (1977/2014)
Chapter 4: Remembering Anto D’Cruz: Intergenerational Trauma and Object-Oriented Dramaturgy
Chapter 5: Re-Membering David McComb: Sonic Hauntology and Uncanny Australia
Chapter 6: Can’t Help Thinking About ‘Me’: the Hauntological Dimensions of David Bowie’s ‘Auto-Eulogy’
Glenn D’Cruz is Associate Professor of Art and Performance and teaches drama and cultural studies at Deakin University, Australia.