The Spectral Turn

LUCAS Theory Seminar Fall 2017

As proposed by Ali Shobeiri, the coming semester the theory seminar will be devoted to the contemporary fascination with ghosts and haunting, the so-called spectral turn, a fascinating and complex topic because of its many manifestations. Most of the essays that will be read are from The Spectralities Reader, put together by Esther Peeren and Maria del Pilar Blanco.

*Although not the whole book will be read, more than half of the texts are assigned, so everybody is supposed to buy the reader:  María del Pilar Blanco and Esther Peeren, The Spectralities Reader. Ghosts and Haunting in Contemporary Cultural Theory (London: Bloomsbury, 2013). The other assigned texts will be send to everybody, after having registered for this seminar.

* Those who want to participate have to register by sending an email to Ernst van Alphen:

* The seminar takes place in Lipsius 236.

* Meetings start at 15:15 in the afternoon and end around 18.00.



28 September: Lipsius 236


– María del Pilar Blanco and Esther Peeren, “The Spectral Turn: Introduction”, in The Spectralities Reader , pp. 31-36

– Julian Wolfreys, “Preface: On Textual Haunting”, The Spectralities Reader, 69-74

– Colin Davis, État Présent: Hauntology, Spectres and Phantoms, in The Spectralities Reader, pp. 53-60

– Roger Luckhorst, “The Contemporary London Gothic and the Limits of the ‘Spectral Turn’,” The Spectralities Reader, pp. 75-88

12 October: Lipsius 236

Time, History

– Jacques Derrida, “Injunctions of Marx”, in Spectres of Marx, Translated from the French by Peggy Kamuf, (Routledge 1994), pp 1-60 pp.

– Achille Mbembe, “from Life, Sovereignty, and Terror in the Fiction of Amos Tutuola”, in The Spectralities Reader, 131-150

– Peter Hitchcock, “from ( ) of Ghosts”, in The Spectralities Reader, pp. 175-196

2 November: Lipsius 236


– Tom Gunning “To Scan a Ghost: The Ontology of Mediated Vision”, in The Spectralities Reader, pp. 207-244

– Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler,“Spectrographies”, in The Spectralities Reader ()

– Ernst van Alphen, “Blurred Images, in Failed Images: Photography and its Counter-Practices (in press)

16 November: Lipsius 236


“Spectral Subjectivities: Gender, Sexuality, Race”, in The Spectralities Reader, pp. 309-316

– Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “from Ghostwriting”, in The Spectralities Reader, 317-334

– Carla Freccero, “Queer Spectrality: Haunting the Past”, in The Spectralities Reader, pp. 335-360

– Nicolas Abraham and Nicholas Rand, “The Shell and the Kernel”,

Diacritics, Vol. 9, No. 1, The Tropology of Freud (Spring, 1979), pp. 15-28

14 December : Lipsius 236


– Anthony Vidler, “Buried Alive”, in The Spectralities Reader, pp. 403-414

– Michael Mayerfeld Bell,  “The Ghosts of Place”, Theory and Society 26, 6 (December 1997), pp. 813-36

– Ulrich Baer, “To Give Memory a Place:Contem porary Holocaust Photography and the Landscape Tradition”, in The Spectralities Reader, pp. 415-444

– Giorgio Agamben, “On the uses and Disadvantages of Living among Specters, in The Spectralities Reader, pp. 473-478