Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock writes, ‘Our contemporary moment is a haunted one’ (2013: 61). Weinstock attributes the ‘spectral turn’ in contemporary cinema, television, literature and academic inquiry to a ‘general postmodern suspicion of meta-narratives accentuated by millennial anxiety’ (ibid.: 62, 63). While the fascination for hauntings is nothing new—ghost stories have never gone out of fashion—the proliferation of spectral presences speaks to a pervasive need to be able to comprehend and express human experiences in ways that are non-linear and non-binary. In a post-9/11 era punctuated by unimaginable occurrences on a massive scale—environmental disasters, refugee crises, terrorist attacks, state-sanctioned violence against not only the Other but also its own citizens—how does one make sense of that which is irrational, if not in ways that challenge the limits of what ‘rational thinking’ (and being rational) is?
Editors for this issue: Rachel Robertson and Wayne Price