A one-day symposium Friday 28th October 2022 at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK

What role might ghosts have in the way traumatic histories are communicated and represented on screen? How might the ghost have the capacity to bring the past forwards to us in the present and enable us to reconsider how histories have been formed and by whom? How are strategies of haunting and the haunted useful to us when thinking through contested histories and contested landscapes? How can global, hybrid and alternative approaches to both documentary film and socially-engaged fiction encompass these ideas to critically re-evaluate society and our position within it?

These questions are at the forefront of a growing number of creative practitioners who are building on the work of sociologists Avery Gordon (Haunting and the Sociological Imagination), Grace Cho (Haunting the Korean Diaspora:Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War) and more recently cultural theorist Zuzanna Dziuban (The Spectral Turn:Jewish Ghosts in the Polish Post-Holocaust Imaginaire) to bring the notion of ghosts and haunting into socially and politically driven works that readdress and gently dismantle Western colonialist interpretations of knowledge formation, authority, supremacy and otherness. Further, contemporary practice in this field is differentiated from how we might have traditionally encountered the ghost in cinema to re-position the ghost within moving image practice as a political entity with agency and intention.

This symposium and its associated events will delve into this relatively recent branch of scholarship and will centre around practice-as-research. Spectral Cinema and Contested Landscapes is a hybrid project encompassing an academic symposium and a series of public-facing events in Farnham.

Keynote: Professor May Adadol Ingawanij (University of Westminster).

Artist’s presentations: Juanita Onzaga (Our Song to War); Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley (Pirating Blackness).

Speakers: For full schedule and speakers, see below.

Organisers: Roz Mortimer, Abby Whittall, Simon Aeppli (UCA)


09.30-10.00 Registration and coffee

10.00-10.10 Welcome address

10.10-11.10 Keynote: May Adadol Ingawanij (University of Westminster)

11.10-12.30 Panel One

CHAIR: Roz Mortimer (UCA)

Juanita Onzaga (Independent artist). Spirits as channels of memories from ancestral times, calming the living: making peace with death.

Astrid Korporal (Kingston University). Spectral refusals and disorientating landmarks in documentary re-enactments

Cecília Mello (University of São Paulo, Brazil). Phantasmagorical Realism and Post-Epistemological Ontology in ‘Memoria’

12.30-13.30 LUNCH

13.30-14.50 Panel 2

CHAIR: Jill Daniels (University of East London)

Louise K Wilson (University of Leeds). Above and Below: Sound, affect and haunted geologies

Kate Woodward (Aberystwyth University). Rural Wales as Haunted Political Space in Yr Ymadawiad (The {Passing, 2015) and Gwledd (The Feast, 2021)

Struan Gray (Falmouth University). Fluid Temporalities: The Significance of Water in the Haunted Landscapes of Southern Chile

14.50-16.10 Panel 3

CHAIR: Birgitta Hosea (UCA)

Brontë Schiltz (Independent scholar). Ghosts in the Living Room: Televisual Terror in The Stone Tape and Ghostwatch

Sam R. M. Geden (Independent scholar). Ending on a Hug: The Revisionism of Posthumous Cinema

Angeliki Myrto-Farmaki (Kingston University). The logic of the séance: pendulum, channel, fragment and the production of otherness


16.30-17.50 Panel 4

CHAIR: Rob Cenci (UCA)

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley (Independent artist). Artist’s presentation Black Trans Archive

Jenny Swingler (Roehampton University). Performing the ob skene: disorientating white radiant death in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals

Chloe Turner (Goldsmiths University). They Wave to Me’ : Ivy Lake, Disco Balls and Kevin Aviance



Saturday 29th October 2022 (time and venue TBC) – please come to the launch of a new audio story walk F for Farnham created by theatre and film director Sophie Austin, produced by Roz Mortimer and Simon Aeppli (UCA). A Knowledge Exchange collaboration between University for the Creative Arts and Farnham Town Council.

F for Farnham is a series of nine audio stories which takes the listener on a ghost hunt around Farnham, the most haunted town in Surrey. This story-walk gives voice to those who have gone before as they share their stories and the resonances that keep them present today. Farnham’s phantoms can sometimes be heard and occasionally seen, but their presence is most felt as their energy reverberates through the bricks and mortar, the flag stones and cobbles, the wooden beams which creak with the memory of hanging bodies. Do not walk alone.

Wednesday 26th October 2022 at Farnham Maltings – please come to a special screening of She Will (2022, Dir: Charlotte Colbert) introduced by Dr Abby Whittall (Post-Doctoral Fellow, UCA). Time and tickets TBC.

Register for free via Eventbrite.