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The Spectral Dollhouse

Shelley Jackson and the Entryway

Shelley Jackson and the Entryway: liminal spaces, liminal writers

I believe in the portable, collaborative, and viral magic of born-digital texts. My first book-length new media project, The Spectral Dollhouse, is a physical dollhouse I built and staged death scenes of real and fictional women inside (from Mary Shelley to “the Madwoman in the Attic”). I then photographed the rooms and used Adobe Flash to animate the space. Making connections between concepts is a creative act, so the linearity is less important than the hypertextual connections the reader makes between the rooms. As you explore the space, my writing is conjured as apparitions: fiction haunts non-fiction. The photographs of the death scenes are meant to explore the photo as a representation of reality, as well as symbolize literary oppression that women face in regards to the procreation of their stories and bodies.

In December 2013, The Spectral Dollhouse was published by The New River, and subsequently will be preserved as a “significant site for future generations” by the Library of Congress’s Internet Archive Project. I won three competitive fellowships that helped me complete my dissertation, including a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from USC, a university-wide competition.

You can play with and read The Spectral Dollhouse here:

In November 2013, “The Cyborg in the Basement Manifesto,” my hybrid essay combining excerpts from the dollhouse, memoir, and narrative theory, went live alongside work from Donna Haraway in the feminist science fiction issue of Ada: Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology. Click here to learn more.

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