Between the Living and the Dead

In these essays, I attempt to imagine what it means to speak with the dead, to live in relation with not only the non-human and more-than-human, but also the non-living, and how this might open other ways of thinking about responsibility across boundaries of time and nation and ontological category. How might troubling the divide between the living and the dead show us other ways of valuing life? What alternate temporalities might it open up, against a linear, progressive model of time, marching ever forward out of a completed past? How might remembering differently create different possibilities for the future? How might thinking about the complications that are hidden in the strict division between the living and the dead allow us to question fundamental constraints around all that is considered possible and impossible, knowable and unknowable, present and absent? As part of a the politics of mourning, how best can we care for and respond to our ghosts? How might we push against the limits containing the dead and other non-living in a way that resists and rejects the devaluing of vast expanse of precarious life on the planet today? How can we slow to a halt the production of more devalued dead?

Introduction: Being With Ghosts, Becoming Mediums

Uncontainable Ghosts: The Winchester Mystery House

Recognizing Your Dead: On Ancestors, Storytelling, and Coalition-Building Between Life and Death

Mourning, Place, and Possibility in the work of Eugene Lim

Among the Living Dead

To Trinity, And Already There

Works Cited