no. 62, July 2022


Edited by Andrea Pavoni and Alberto Vanolo


That ghosts, spectres, phantasm, and other ectoplasms populate cities is a matter of fact, one that has attracted all sorts of investigators, such as writers, psychoanalysts, artists, anthropologists, and urban thinkers. Cities are not a self-evident object. Never fully transparent, or ever present, to themselves, they are complex territories haunted by what is not there, what is no longer, and what is not yet. Especially in these short-circuited times, as benign imaginaries of the future (smart, green, healthy etc.) city are juxtaposed by apocalyptic imaginaries of looming climate catastrophe, as politics of fear craft ever novel monsters, and ghostly figures flicker between the screens and the streets, the urban is animated by all sorts of spectral impulses.

A dangerous street, a mysterious animal, ‘phantom cabs’ (Hwang and Elish 2015), the spectral relicts of post-industrial of districts, notoriously haunted neighbourhoods, ‘ghost cities’ (Woodworth and Wallace 2017). The surrounds keep haunting the centres (Simone forthcoming), past events still linger around the urban space, while desired futures deform it invisibly, among the ruins of lost futures that keep piling up (Fisher 2014). If urban life is constitutively, one may say structurally, ghostly, then a spectral angle is decisive to explore it, as ghost experts such as Poe, James, Benjamin, Simmel or Freud already understood, and recent fascination with urban spectres show (Luckhurst 2002; Pile 2005). What are then the uses and the disadvantages of living among spectres (Agamben 2011)?

This issue of Lo Squaderno invites to address this question speculatively and methodologically, by connecting, keeping in touch, and exploring a variety of urban ghosts and ghostscapes. We are interested in a broad range of contributions exploring ghosts as the real and material absences that populate the city. Papers engaging with ghost-inspired creative writing and methodologies are particularly welcome.



Agamben G. Dell’utilità e degli inconvenienti del vivere fra spettri. Corte del Fontego, 2011

Fisher M. Ghosts of my life: Writings on depression, hauntology and lost futures. John Hunt Publishing, 2014

Hwang T. and Elish MC. The mirage of the marketplace. The disingenuous ways Uber hides behind its algorithm. Slate, July 27, 2015.

Luckhurst R. The contemporary London gothic and the limits of the ‘spectral turn’. Textual Practice 16(3), 2002: 527–546

Pile S. Real cities: modernity, space and the phantasmagorias of city life. Sage, 2005

Simone A. The surrounds. Urban life within and beyond capture. Duke University Press, forthcoming 2022

Woodworth MD and Wallace JL. Seeing ghosts: Parsing China’s “ghost city” controversy. Urban Geography, 38(8), 2002: 1270-1281



| Deadline | 30 March 2022

| Articles’ length | 2,000 words


| Information about the Journal |

| Information about the Editorial Process + Author’s Submission Checklist |

| Submit to | losquaderno≤at≥gmail≤.≥com