Friday, October 30, 2009

Haunting & Memory

Staying in this weekend? We recommend the following choice titles on haunting and memory. Have a safe and happy Halloween, everyone.

The Strange Case of William Mumler, Spirit Photographer by Louis Kaplan. The story of the birth of spirit photography and the controversy surrounding its discovery. Includes a handful of ghostly images, including a well-known photo of the recently assassinated Abraham Lincoln comforting Mary Todd.

The Devil Notebooks by Laurence A. Rickels. Milton’s Paradise Lost. Goethe’s Faust. Aaron Spelling’s Satan’s School for Girls? Laurence A. Rickels scours the canon and pop culture in this all-encompassing study on the Devil.

The Vampire Lectures by Laurence A. Rickels. Rickels sifts through the rich mythology of vampirism, from medieval folklore to Marilyn Manson, to explore the profound and unconscious appeal of the undead in this wild and wide-ranging "psycho-history" of the vampire. See also: The Ascent of the Vampire, Rickels' recent blog post on the vampire in pop culture.

Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War by Grace M. Cho. Explores the repressed history of emotional and physical violence between the United States and Korea and the unexamined reverberations of sexual relationships between Korean women and American soldiers.

Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination by Avery F. Gordon. In 1856, an escaped slave named Margaret Garner killed her daughter rather than see her taken back into slavery. One hundred and thirty years later, when Toni Morrison wrote Beloved, she used this event as the framework of a ghost story. In this unique and compelling book, Avery F. Gordon considers the cultural experience of haunting.

The Architecture of Madness: Insane Asylums in the United States by Carla Yanni. A fresh and original look at the American medical establishment’s century-long preoccupation with therapeutic architecture as a way to cure social ills.

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