Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Antonio Calcagno

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Helen Fielding

3rd Supervisor

Dr. Jan Plug


Rationality points to the complete annihilation and end of a life when the body perishes, and yet when a loved one dies we continue to experience that person in a myriad of ways. The focus of this thesis will be a phenomenological exploration of the earthly afterlife of those we have loved and lost. By positing the subject as always intersubjective and as temporal in nature, this thesis will investigate how we continue to create and interact with the deceased upon the earth. In the introduction, this work will be placed in the context of the phenomenological tradition. The first chapter will set out a subject consisting of present body, future earth/ world, and past memories. The second chapter will posit the foundation of such a subjectivity upon inter-subjectivity or the in-between the I and the other, in which the present body emerges from the caress, the future world is produced by natality, and past memories are cultivated by language. In the third chapter, cartoons, photography, and fine art are used to explore how an inter-subjectivity so conceived can help us to understand our connection to the deceased and continue to create and live with the dead. This work aims to conceptualize, celebrate, and live our relationships in a temporally liminal and environmentally vitalist way.

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