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Sylvia J. MARTIN received her PhD in Anthropology from University of California, Irvine and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. Recent work examines the convergence between the US state and Hollywood imagineering. She is the author of the monograph Haunted: An Ethnography of the Hollywood and Hong Kong Media Industries (2017) and articles in the journals Visual Anthropology Review and Media, Culture & Society.

Shared Visions: The Gift of The Eye

Organ transplantation as discussed in the occult economies literature is associated with illicit activities and uncanny circumstances, and is fuelled by socioeconomic disparity. Discussing corneal transplantation as depicted in the Hong Kong–Thai film The Eye, this essay reflects on the symbolic and affective aspects of gifting the organ that helps us to mediate the world and which is associated with personal identity. It argues that through the genre of horror, cultural meanings of corneal transplantation are heightened that include the notion of tethering individuals through premonitory visions. In its portrayal of corneal donation and reciprocity, The Eye offers a warning about predictive knowledge.

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