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In the Company of Ghosts: Hauntology, Ethics, Digital Monsters
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4902-624X
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
I sällskap av spöken : Hauntologi, etik, digitala monster (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores French philosopher Jacques Derrida’s ’hauntology’ through the lens of digital monsters and feminist theory.

Hauntology – a pun on ‘ontology’ and ‘haunting’ – offers an ethics based on responsibility towards that which cannot be said to fully exist, yet has an effect on our everyday lives nonetheless. Like the figure of the ghost, such undecidable existences are neither absent nor present, here nor gone, of the past or the future. In other words: they haunt.

By engaging with hauntology through contemporary stories of digital monsters – such as The Curious Case of Smile.jpg, Welcome to Night Vale and Mushroom Land TV - the thesis discusses how such troubling hauntings might be imagined, and what it means to think an ethics based on responsibility towards the undecidable. In this way, the thesis brings together hauntology and digital media, arguing that thinking with and through the figure of the ghost as well as the digital monster may lead to different and critical ways of imagining both the world and ethics.

In short, drawing upon feminist theory and creative writing, the thesis maps out a relational ethics of hauntings and internet story-telling.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling utforskar den franske filosofen Jacques Derridas ’hauntologi’ genom digitala monster och feministisk teori.

Hauntologi - en ordlek på ontology och haunting - erbjuder en etik som bygger på ansvar gentemot det som inte kan sägas helt existera, men ändå har en effekt på vårt dagliga liv. Liksom figuren ’spöket’ är sådana obestämbara existenser varken frånvarande eller närvarande, här eller borta, i det förflutna eller framtiden. Med andra ord: de hemsöker.

Genom analyser av samtida berättelser om digitala monster - som The Curious Case of Smile.jpg, Welcome to Night Vale och Mushroom Land TV - diskuterar avhandlingen hur sådan oroande hemsökelser kan bli föreställda, och vad det innebär att tänka en etik baserad på ansvar gentemot det obestämbara. På detta sätt sammanför avhandlingen hauntologi och digitala medier ihop för att argumentera att akten att tänka med och genom spöket som figur och det digitala monstret kan leda till annorlunda och kritiska sätt att föreställa sig både världen och etik på.

Avhandlingen bygger på feministisk teori och kreativt skrivande för att utforska en relationell etik baserad på hemsökelser och internet-berättelser.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. , 207 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 668
Keyword [en]
Hauntology, monster, ghost, spectralities, Monster Studies, feminist theory, ethics, digital media, internet, Welcome to Night Vale, Mushroom Land TV, creepypasta
Keyword [sv]
Hauntologi, monster, spöke, spectralities, monster studier, feministisk teori, etik, digitala medier, internet, Welcome to Night Vale, Mushroom Land TV, creepypasta
National Category
Gender Studies Philosophy Media Studies Human Aspects of ICT
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-127021DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-127021ISBN: 978-91-7685-842-4 (Print)OAI: diva2:918869
Public defence
2016-05-13, TEMCAS, TEMA building, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-04-12 Created: 2016-04-12 Last updated: 2016-04-28Bibliographically approved

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