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January 20 , 2010

Co-habiting with Ghosts

Knowledge, Experience, Belief and the Domestic Uncanny


How does it feel to live in a ‘haunted home’? How do people negotiate their everyday lives with the experience of uncanny, anomalous or strange events within the domestic interior? What do such experiences reveal of the intersection between the material, immaterial and temporal within the home? How do people interpret, share and narrate experiences which are uncertain and unpredictable? What does this reveal about contested beliefs and different forms of knowledge? And about how people ‘co-habit’ with ghosts, a distinctive self - other relationship within such close quarters?

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This book sets out to explore these questions. It applies a non-reductive middle-ground approach which steers beyond an uncritical exploration of supernatural experiences without explaining them away by recourse only to wider social and cultural contexts. The book attends to the ways in which households in England and Wales understand their experience of haunting in relation to ideas of subjectivity, gender, materiality, memory, knowledge and belief. It explores home as a place both dynamic and differentiated, illuminating the complexity of ‘everyday’ experience - the familiarity of the strange as well as the strangeness of the familiar - and the ways in which home continues to be configured as a distinctive space.

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