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The Garden of Ghosts: Landscape and Recollection in Singapore

School of Architecture Autumn lecture series

Details of man squating on ground lighting ceremonial candles. Grid of 12 images.

Thursday, 11 May 2017, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Dr Joshua Comaroff
Assistant Professor, Singapore University of Technology and Design
Design Consultant, Lekker 

Singaporeans claim their city to be one of the world’s most haunted. Certainly, there is a long history of “ghost practices” – gifts to, and negotiations with, the dead. Likewise, the popular traditions of spectrality are still very much alive within the city’s green, hi-tech fabric. This lecture will introduce notions of haunting and horror that marry folk traditions to new spaces, technologies, and practices. In particular, it will argue that hauntings and uncanny transactions appear particularly at points of rapid spatial and social change: construction sites, infrastructures, and nodes of a thriving speculative economy.

Joshua Comaroff is an academic geographer and designer at Lekker (www.lekker.sg). Josh studied literature and creative writing at Amherst College before joining the Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture programs at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His doctoral research focused upon the subject of haunted landscapes in Singapore. In recent years, he has written about architecture, urbanism, and politics with an Asian focus, and is the co-author (with Ong Ker-Shing) of Horror In Architecture. In addition to practice, Josh is Assistant Professor in the pillar of Architecture and Sustainable Design at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

Refreshments provided.

Image credit: Joshua Comaroff


11 May 2017
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


City - Broadway

UTS DAB, Level 4, Landscape Architecture Studio (CB06.04.05),
702-730 Harris Street, Sydney

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