Cultural Geographies. July 2008, 15(3)

Cultural Geographies devotes an issue to 'spectro-geographies'. (Think Derrida's 'Hauntology'. Or Gordon. Not Hilbert.) Maddern & Adey introduce things. Strained metaphors aside, what the concept bundles here is of interest: the experience of time, place, emotion and memory; elusive causalities; uncertainty about what is present or absent, changed or the same.

Holloway & Kneale insist on writing as if about actual ghosts, which grates. They then turn to ghost stories and spiritualist techniques, muddying things further. The goal (I guess) of drawing out tools of thought through some Serres-esque hyperinternalist metaphor-stretching is passable for a special issue. However the failure to make links here to any non-ghost analytic objects or concerns leaves this feeling decidedly cliquish.

Edensor takes us on his daily commute, where the working classes have become ghosts. We meet some of the sites (abandoned cinema, the old rail lie, a park, ex-council flats...). There are pictures. We're talking evocative emptiness and disuse (or 'absent presences'), memory and continuity amidst change.

Matless offers the writings of Mary Butts as a way in to discussions of ghosts and place. There's a brief run through notable geography-ghost academic meetings, shifting into a discussion of Butts and her work's 'spectral aesthetic'.

Maddern approaches a tourist-friendly Ellis Island, via interviews with restoration workers. It's full of (both organic and conjured) ghosts; or constellations of spaces and objects which affect visitors, often in unpredictable ways. Bonus metaphors: restoration decisions as ghostly (indeterminate); migrants as spectral (marginal, peripheral); genealogists as ghost hunters...

Indigenous peoples are haunting Cameron. Ghost motifs and metaphors are traced through the colonial Canadian psyche, coming together in the haunting of a BC park amid anxieties around indigenous land claims.