Death, Grief and Culture
Analyse how humans deal with death and incorporate mourning into our cultures. Reassess the rituals of grief. Probe the politics of euthanasia. Explore the social function of the cemetery. Track the ways that the internet has affected how we mourn.
Enrolments for this year have closed. Keep exploring subjects.
- 31 May 2021
QS RANKING 2021
Times Higher Education Ranking 2021
After successfully completing this subject you should be able to:
1. Understand the complexity of grief and its expressions cross-culturally;
2. Understand the profound impact of human mortality in the production of culture generally;
3. Reflect upon your own values and attitudes in relation to death and the morning ritual;
4. Understand the impact of secularisation and medicalisation on modern death culture;
5. Understand conceptual, historical and social aspects of death, dying and grief culture.
- Ways of seeing death.
- Cemeteries as social space.
- Concepts of grief and morning.
- Grief and its cultural dimensions.
- Mourning and memory in the digital age.
- Representations of death.
- Photography and memory.
- Assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Note: Level 3 subjects normally assume a moderate level of prior knowledge in this area, e.g. from studying related Level 1 and 2 subjects or other relevant experience.
No special requirements
A key definition distinguishing human beings from other animals is that humans live in the knowledge of their mortality. This subject explores the human condition of death and dying as it draws from interdisciplinary research literatures and cultural objects, including film and memoir. It examines major psychological and psychoanalytic concepts of grief, mourning and melancholia as well as key themes on topics such as: death and memorialisation online; cross-cultural death rites and beliefs; the politics of mourning; legal issues and the politics of euthanasia; dark tourism; death and memoir; death and celebrity culture; death denial and taboo; death and representation; love and death.
- Bibliography — Annotated (25%)
- Essay (35%)
- Non-Invigilated Exam — Multiple Choice (20%)
- Online Discussion (20%)
Current study term: 30 May 21 to 29 Aug 21
Check the learning management system (LMS) of your university for textbook details.
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