Subject details

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.

  • Topics
    • 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.
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Embedded Multimedia
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Standard Media
    • Online Materials
      • Printable format materials
      • Resources and Links

Entry Requirements


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.

Special requirements

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.

  • Assignment 1 - Bibliography — Annotated (25%)
  • Assignment 2 - Essay (35%)
  • Assignment 3 - Non-Invigilated Exam — Multiple Choice (20%)
  • Assignment 4 - Online Discussion (20%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

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