Skip to main content
Student profile

Felicity T. C. Hamer

Thesis supervisor: Dr. Jeremy Stolow
Thesis title: Developing Memory: Remembrance, Embellishment, Hauntography

Felicity T. C. Hamer is a Montreal-born mother of two, vocalist, Public Scholar and current PhD candidate in the Department of Communication Studies. Perplexed by her own emotional response to photographs, she ventures to understand the complex ways in which photographic portraits extend our relationships beyond physical death. Within this context, Hamer examines the therapeutic potential of photography associated with death rituals and of Victorian-era Spirit Photography in particular. Her research focuses on memory and imagination through photography; bereavement and photography; emotional engagement with photographs; paranormal, supernatural, magical and miraculous imagery; and intersections of religion and photography.  Her dissertation project, “Developing Memory: Remembrance, Embellishment, Hauntography,” establishes and then develops the existence of a form of bereavement through photography that she names hauntography. Some photographic objects seem to become so enmeshed in the activity of imaginative remembrance that their ability to participate is no longer dependant on the viewable object. Misplaced or intentionally avoided, these mementoes can take on a hauntographic presence – retaining an affective charge that echoes the very phantoms they were meant to commemorate. Hauntographs are skeuomorphs – retaining the now-superfluous attributes of objects that, for a time, hosted the now-disconnected remembrance activity.

Scholarly writing


  • Parental Grief and Photographic Remembrance: A Historical Account of Undying Love. Second in the series ‘Sharing Death Online,’ edited by Dorthe Refslund Christensen. Bingley: UK, Emerald Publishing. (February 2020).

Peer-reviewed article

Book reviews

  • “Keeper of the Hearth / Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph (review).” History of Photography Journal, (Dec. 2020). DOI: 10.1080/03087298.2020.184689
  • “Communion of Shadows (review).” Material Religion, vol. 15, no. 3, (March 2019), 384-387.


  • “The Role of Women in Victorian-era Spirit Photography: A New Narrative.” MA thesis, submitted to the Art History Department of Concordia University, September 2015. Supervised by Dr. Catherine Mackenzie.

Other writing

Social media links:

Felicity Hamer's Twitter page
Back to top

© Concordia University