Attention all 34th Annual SAVAH conference participants:

Call for papers for a themed component of de arte titled Speaking with ghosts: Hauntology, memory, nostalgia and other ways of engaging with past/present/future

We are pleased to announce this call for papers for a themed component of de arte, titled Speaking with ghosts: Hauntology, memory, nostalgia and other ways of engaging with past/present/future that draws on the issues explored at the 34th Annual SAVAH CONFERENCE, hosted by The Faculty of Informatics and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (11–13 Sept. 2019).

Speaking with ghosts: Hauntology, memory, nostalgia and other ways of engaging with past/present/future.

Hauntology is a composite of ‘haunting’ and ‘ontology’ proposed by Jacques Derrida (1993) as a way of thinking about the presence of absent figures, which haunt the world in an ambiguous state of being neither alive nor dead. To use the metaphor of haunting conjures ghosts and specters, tangible but not entirely whole or extant beings, inherited from the past and discernible in the present. The ‘ghost’ therefore inhabits a disjointed timespace in which ‘anything is possible’ as the past and present co-exist on a transitory plane.

As a theme in critical theory, hauntology turns to the past in order to make sense of the present, to understand how we got to this place and to consider what’s to come. To speak with ghosts, as Karen Barad (2010: 264)[1] suggests, is not a project of reconstruction, but a means:

to acknowledge and be responsive to the non-contemporaneity of the present, to put oneself at risk, to risk oneself (which is never one or self), to open oneself up to indeterminacy in moving towards what is to-come.

We propose this theme as a productive framework for addressing the challenges of working with what we inherit, and for dealing with contemporary concerns around existence in transition. We invite scholars to critically engage with aspects of past and present, the notion of hauntology, memory, nostalgia and related concepts in the visual domain, including visual art, archaeology, architecture, design, and photography.

We invite papers of 5000- 8000 words that engage with the theme to be submitted for consideration for publication in de arte via Editorial Manager at www.edmgr.com/rdat by 31 January 2020. All submissions will be subject to double-blind peer review.

Any questions to do with this call for papers can be sent to Nike Romano (Romanon@cput.ac.za) and Alison Kearney (Alison.kearney@wits.ac.za)


[1]     See Barad, K. 2010. Quantum Entanglements and Hauntological Relations of Inheritance: Dis/continuities, SpaceTime Enfoldings, and Justice-to-Come. Derrida Today 3,2: 240–268.