'Hauntology' is an open ended term coined by the philosopher Jacques Derrida in the early 1990's in his book 'Spectres of Marx' (1993). Created as a portmanteau of the words 'haunting' and 'ontology'
[the philosophical study of being] producing a word to describe the
study of a spectral, ghostly, version of being - "the figure of the
ghost as that which is neither present, nor absent, neither dead nor
Over the past decade the term has gained huge relevance to a number of art forms and cultural debates. The cultural theorist Mark Fisher in the 2000's, through his K-punk website developed the boundaries of the word for it to become a poetic description of a yearning for the lost futures that our collective pasts once promised but no longer hold to be true. A reaction for some that a future of utopian possibility has been cancelled.
Watch the following BBC video by Richard Littler (of Scarfolk fame) to gain further insight into the term.
"Hauntology Now" by Mark Fisher, K-Punk, 17 January 2006
(Fisher's first exploration of the term online in connection with music)
- "Hauntology: The Past Inside The Present" by Adam Harper, Rouge's Foam, 27 October 2009
(Highly recommended reading. The blog post explores all kinds of art forms that could be classed as 'hauntological')
- "Hauntologists mine the past for music's future" by Mark Pilkington, BoingBoing.net, 12 October 2012
- "Hauntological Futures" by James Bridle, booktwo.org, 20 March, 2011
- "Hauntology: A not-so-new critical manifestation" by Andrew Gallix, The Guardian, 17 June 2011.
- "Mark Fisher’s K-punk blogs were required reading for a generation" by Simon Reynolds, The Guardian, 18 January 2017.
ghosts of our lives - From communism to dubstep, our politics and
culture have been haunted by the spectres of futures that never came to
pass" by Tom Whyman, the New Statesman 31 July 2019. (The link goes to a cached version on Google severs as the original article is behind a paywall)
- "What Is Hauntology?" by Mark Fisher, Film Quarterly Vol. 66, No. 1 (Fall 2012), pp. 16-24
- "The Metaphysics of Crackle:Afrofuturism and Hauntology" by Mark Fisher, Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture, 2013
- "The Haunted Generation" by Bob Fischer, Fortean Times, Issue 354, June 2017, pp. 30-37
(found via this following post looking at the recent revival of"Folk
Horror ", an off-shoot of investigations into hauntology, focusing on
the rural, pagan and culturally hidden - "Want to Know about Folk Horror? Read This" by Dawn Keetley)
*edited update* Bob Fisher has uploaded his article to his blog site 'The Haunted Generation'
- "Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures" by Mark Fisher. Winchester: Zero Books, 2014. ISBN 978-1780992266
- "Specters of Marx, the state of the debt, the Work of Mourning, & the New International", by Jaques Derrida (trans by Peggy Kamuf), Routledge 1994. ISBN 978-0415389570.
- "Hauntology: Ghosts of Futures Past", by Merlin Coverley. Oldcastle Books 2020. ISBN 978-085730419.
- "Egress: On Mourning, Melancholy and Mark Fisher" by Matt Colquhoun. Repeater Books 2020. ISBN: 978-1912248872.
The Presence of the Past in Twenty-First Century English Literature" by
Katy Shaw. Palgrave Macmillan 2018. ISBN: 978-3030091156.
- "Hauntology; a conversation with Lawrence Rinder, Scott Hewicker, and Kevin Killian " in connection with the art show "Hauntology" that took place at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive from July 14 to December 5, 2010. By BAMFA, Youtube, 24 June 2010
- "Hauntology, Lost Futures and 80s Nostalgia" by Cuck Philosophy, Youtube, 30 June 2018
- "Ghost Dance" (1983) - Ken McMullen - Through the experiences of two women in Paris and London, Ghost Dance
offers an analysis of the complexity of our conceptions of ghosts,
memory and the past. The film focuses on philosopher Jacques Derrida who
considers ghosts to be the memory of something which has never been