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Haunted Worlds: Reckoning with Ghosts in Arts and Heritage Practice

A lecture by Dr. Colin Sterling, Assistant Professor of Memory and Museums, University of Amsterdam


in the framwork of lecture series Exploring the In-Between: Haunting Ghosts, Fantasies, Emotions, Memory and Memes 

Spectres, ghosts and phantoms have occupied a central place in artistic practice for some time now. Critical engagements with memory and history routinely evoke the haunted qualities of contemporary life to document the lingering effects of – for example – colonialism, conflict and trauma. At the same time, heritage practice is often accused of 'exorcising' ghosts in pursuit of a clichéd view of the past. This talk will investigate some of the different ways in which heritage and the arts might reckon with the in-between worlds of the ghostly and the spectral in pursuit of more just futures.  

Colin Sterling is Assistant Professor of Memory and Museums at the University of Amsterdam. His research investigates creative and ecological approaches to heritage and museums, with a particular focus on the intersections between artistic research and critical heritage practice. He is the author of Heritage, Photography, and the Affective Past and co-editor of Deterritorializing the Future: Heritage in, of and after the Anthropocene.