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.
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- 17 Jul 2023
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Our student advisors are here to guide you with:
- Enrolling and eligibility
- Fee and loan information
- Credit and recognition for prior learning
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 additional 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 (30%)
- Essay (40%)
- Non-Invigilated Exam — Multiple Choice (30%)
Current study term: 16 Jul 23 to 13 Oct 23
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