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IPP Workshop Series | Aleksandra Sadowska: “The time is out of joint”: An Introduction to Hauntology


Nov 29, 2022 from 02:00 to 04:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC100)



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In his pivotal book, Spectres of Marx (1993), Jacques Derrida has written that “[i]f it—learning to live—remains to be done, it can happen only between life and death. Neither in life nor in death alone. [...] So it would be necessary to learn spirits. [...]” (2006: xvii). In the course of this workshop, we will follow the advice of the father of hauntology and find out what deeper meanings and truths can be learned from the ghosts and hauntings as depicted in selected literary texts.


During the first part of the workshop, we will look briefly at the origins of hauntology, its most prominent advocates (e.g. Jacques Derrida, Mark Fisher, Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok), and the tools it offers for literary analysis. Next, the participants will be invited to use the acquired knowledge to analyze a few selected extracts from literature (such as Ali Smith’s Hotel World). This part aims to familiarize the participants with possible readings of hauntological elements on the individual, social and political levels.


This workshop is of interest to all students who would like to expand their understanding of hauntological elements encountered in literature or look for inspiration regarding their research papers. Participants will be provided with a handbook containing the most important information and suggestions for further reading.


“The time is out of joint”: Hamlet, Act I, Scene V.


Works Cited:

Derrida, Jacques. Specters of Marx: the State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning and the New International / Jacques Derrida; Translated from the French by Peggy Kamuf; with an Introduction by Bernd Magnus and Stephen Cullenberg. Routledge, 2006.


The IPP Workshop Series

It offers IPP members the opportunity to lead a workshop on current concepts and methods in the Study of culture. The aim of the series is to create an interactive discussion group for doctoral candidates and students. The topics can range from general introductions to various "schools" of literary and cultural theory to concepts, methods and topics of literary and cultural theory.