In this essay, I explore various iterations of spiritualism that recur throughout the history of Riverside, California. As Elmer Wallace Holmes suggests in his 1912 History of Riverside County, Riverside has long hosted “a coterie of spiritualists and free thinkers.” Beginning with a discussion of nineteenth century feminist Spiritualists Eliza Lovell Tibbets and Annie Denton Cridge, the essay treats life-writing by Don Talayesva, folkloric accounts of La Llorona, and Jacques Derrida's Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International (1993)—a work of scholarship that began with an address given at UCR's Center for Ideas and Society “Whither Marxism” Conference. In keeping with Derrida's theory of “hauntology,” this commentary traces an occult history that has, like Poe's purloined letter, remained hidden in plain sight.

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