Spectrology, Hauting and Ghosts · Spring Seminar 2021


Spring Seminar 2021 · Spectrology, Haunting and Ghosts
5-7 MAY 2021
School of Arts at Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Porto, Portugal


Keynote Speakers and Artist Talks
Esther Peeren
João Pedro Rodrigues
José Bértolo
Loretta Fahrenholz
Margarida Medeiros
Ulrich Baer


FINAL PROGRAMME with Abstracts [PDF]

Some artworks, from cinema to visual arts and photography, have absorbed phenomena like ghosts, zombies, illness, death, spectra, apparitions, and other kind of “in-between” states of being. This kind of liminality is a way of bringing forward in our historical present its profound ambiguity. 
Images are ontologically problematic in their approach to reality. They are always a representation of a time and a space, and their manipulation puts into question their indexicality.
This liminality of ghosts, spectra and apparitions is also a way of analyzing the complexity of our historical present, in both its linearity and a cross-over of past, present and future. Therefore, these “in-between” states discuss issues of the traumatic past, as are empowerments to change the future. That is, the traumatic past haunts the historical present demanding new ways of knowing the world and history that will transform power structures.
This seminar aims to map and discuss contemporary manifestations in art & cinema of these phenomena.
We welcome papers on the following topics:
  • Critical theory on spectrology, haunting and ghosts
  • Cinema and visual arts that incorporate or relate to ghosts, zombies or dead people
  • Spaces of liminality in cinema and contemporary art
  • Artworks that use spectrology, haunting and ghosts as means to speak trauma
  • Alternative uses of narrative dealing with these “in-between” states
  • How certain images haunt the historical present
  • Uncovering archives
Organizing Committee
Scientific Committee
Avery Gordon (Birkbeck School of Law, University of London)
Carlos Natálio (UCP / EA-CITAR)
Clara Rownlad (IELT - NOVA FCSH)
Elisabete Marques (UP / ILML)
Filipa Rosário (FL-CEComp)
Guilherme Blanc (Ágora – Porto)
Joana Rafael (ESAP / CEGOT e ID+)
Maria Coutinho (UCP / EA-CITAR)
Maria Mire (Ar.Co)
Paulo Cunha (UBI / LabCom)
Pedro Alves (UCP / EA-CITAR)
Sérgio Dias Branco (UC / CEIS20)
Teresa Castro (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle)
Tiago Baptista (UNL / IHC)


May 5, Wednesday
16h30-18h00 · Artist Talk
Loretta Fahrenholz · Mashes of the Afternoon 
Chair: Guilherme Blanc
18h30 · Screening + Q&A
João Pedro Rodrigues
O Ornitólogo [The Ornithologist], 2016, 117’
Fernando, a solitary ornithologist, is looking for black storks when he is swept away by the rapids. Rescued by a couple of Chinese pilgrims, he plunges into an eerie and dark forest, trying to get back on his track.
May 6, Thursday
9h45-11h00 · Keynote Speaker
José Bértolo · “Kingdom of Shadows”: Film as Spectral Medium 
Chair: Daniel Ribas
11h00-11h15 · Pause
11h15-13h00 · Panel #1
Chair: Maria Coutinho 
Joana Passi · University of Coimbra
The angel in the house 
Andrés Azzolina · Universidade de Lisboa
Ghost Communication: Media and Human Extinction 
David Revés · Universidade Nova de Lisboa
The speculative hand: towards a (meta)physics of the hand from the analysis of “The Mesh and the Circle”
13h00-14h30 · Lunch
14h30-16h00 · Keynote Speaker
Margarida Medeiros · Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Animism, haunted images and the return of the repressed in photography and cinema
Chair: Carlos Natálio


16h00-16h15 · Pause
16h30-18h00 · Panel #2
Chair: João Pedro Amorim 
Rita Benis · Universidade de Lisboa
“The Strange Case of Angelica”: an ominous mirroring relationship
Matthew Mason · Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Spectres of Populism and Postmodernism in the Documentary Work of Adam Curtis (2015 -2021)
Temenuga Trifonova · York University
Spectrality, Haunting, and Ghosts in Contemporary European Cinema
18h00-18h30 · Pause
18h30 · Keynote Speaker
Ulrich Baer · New York University
Haunting Images. Ghostly Photographs in the Age of Global Media
Chair: Maria Coutinho
May 7, Friday
9h30-11h00 · Panel #3
Chair: Joana Rafael 
João Pereira Matos · Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Acheron in cyberspace: clinamen and spectrality
Ana Dinger · Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Duchamp’s aphorism revisited: “a guest + a host = a ghost”
Tiago Bartolomeu Costa · Universidade de Lisboa
Tânia Carvalho: spectral bodies and choreographic drills
Maithri · University of Amsterdam
“Unsex me here”: Lady Macbeth, Gender and Ghosts of Futures Past
11h00-11h15 · Pause
11h15-13h00 · Panel #4
Chair: Pedro Alves 
Marina Gallani · Universidade Católica Portuguesa
The Driving Silence of Francesca Woodman and Laura Hospes: An Analysis of Death and Self-portraiture
Bárbara Bergamaschi · PUC-Rio / Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Peter Tscherkassky's Cinematic Hauntology
Alice Sanches · Universidade Nova de Lisboa
There are horses in Chernobyl: Notes on a (new) aesthetics of horror
Inês Nascimento Rodrigues · University of Coimbra
Decolonizing haunting? A set of questions and epistemological challenges
13h00-14h30 · Lunch
14h30-16h00 · Keynote Speaker
Esther Peeren · University of Amesterdam
Living Ghosts of the Spectralized Rural 
Chair: João Pedro Amorim


16h00-16h15 · Pause
16h30-17h45 · Panel #5
Chair: Carlos Ruiz 


Mireille Berton · University of Lausanne
Medium (in) Cinema: Studying Film Representations of Spiritualism
Sandra Camacho · Universidade de Lisboa
The ‘Absent One’ in Daniel Blaufuks’s “The Absence”
Nicolò Villani · e-Campus University
The Haunting of Netflix Home: Reading the streaming platforms as haunted houses
17h45-18h00 · Pause
18h30 · Exhibition Opening
Nuno Cera
Sinfonia do Desconhecido II
Sala de Exposições