Cultural Necromancy: Digital Resurrection and Hegemonic Incorporation


This essay follows the recent discourse on two phenomena: the tendency of hegemony to incorporate subversive cultures, and the digital reanimation of prominent dead people. At the intersection of these phenomena lies what we call “cultural necromancy,” a special case of hegemonic incorporation that aesthetically manipulates the physical presence of a deceased figure in the service of power. This essay explores historical analogues to cultural necromancy and how the digital age has accelerated the process through examples ranging from medieval saints to Lenin’s mausoleum to the Tupac hologram. It then examines cultural necromancy’s implications for counterculture and resistance.

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