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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ghosts of the Lizzie Borden House Tour: Hauntology, Historicity and Attention at Work

  • Author(s): Lucitt, Emily Anne
  • Advisor(s): Hollan, Douglas
  • et al.

This thesis combines work in hauntology and phenomenology to explore the ways in which individuals experience the history of the Lizzie Borden House, especially on a tour of the house guided by a member of the staff. "Hauntology" is a concept developed primarily by Jacques Derrida in order to explore the lingering injustices associated with Western fears of communism (1994). However, it has been further utilized by diverse scholars, such as Avery Gordon (2008) and Byron Good (2012) to study how unspeakable traumas are engaged by literature and ethnographic subjects. My work will expand and connect these discrete lines of scholarship through the ethnographic and historical legacy of an infamous American murder scene that is now a privately owned and operated bed and breakfast.

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