Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Melissa Gonzalez
In my thesis project, I explore the image (perhaps even the paramnesia, per the theories of Lauren Berlant) of the queer child ghost in television as it relates to questions of whiteness and citizenship. In this scholarly endeavour, I hope to answer the following questions using The United States of Tara, British television drama Hex, and Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House as case studies: are there intertextual commonalities of representation between the queer child ghosts present in Western television? To what extent are these queer ghost children of Anglo-American television always already white? If we consider Queer TV theorist Gary Needham’s theory that “[t]he image or figure of the child is a signifier of the family in popular culture […] it is where the future comes to be projected in a fantasy”, what–if anything–does this compulsory whiteness tell us about the imagined community of the United States (Needham 151) ? What does it tell us about the, as Saidiya Hartman puts it, “fungibility of the black body” and does this fungibility render televisual Blackness as alway already queer? Always already spectral?