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The New Death: Mortality and Death Care in the Twenty-First Century

The New Death: Mortality and Death Care in the Twenty-First Century

The New Death: Mortality and Death Care in the Twenty-First Century

The New Death: Mortality and Death Care in the Twenty-First Century


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The New Death brings together scholars who are intrigued by today's rapidly changing death practices and attitudes. New and different ways of treating the body and memorializing the dead are proliferating across global cities. Using ethnographic, historical, and media-based approaches, the contributors to this volume focus on new attitudes and practices around mortality and mourning—from the possibilities of digitally enhanced afterlives to industrialized "necro-waste," the ethics of care, the meaning of secular rituals, and the political economy of death. Together, the chapters coalesce around the argument that there are two major currents running through the new death—reconfigurations of temporality and of intimacy. Pushing back against the folklorization endemic to anthropological studies of death practices and the whiteness of death studies as a field, the chapters strive to override divisions between the Global South and the Anglophone world, focusing instead on syncretization, globalization, and magic within the mundane.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826363459
Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
Publication date: 04/15/2022
Series: School for Advanced Research Advanced Seminar Series
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 858,005
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Shannon Lee Dawdy is a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her fieldwork combines archival, ethnographic, and archaeological methods to understand how objects and landscapes mediate human life.

Tamara Kneese is an assistant professor of media studies and the program director of gender and sexualities studies at the University of San Francisco. Her research examines digital cultures, using ethnographic and historical methods to understand emergent practices around labor, love, and loss.

Table of Contents

Shannon Lee Dawdy and Tamara Kneese

Part I. Mortality
Chapter One. Terminality: Technoscientific Eschatology in the Anthropocene
Abou Farman
Chapter Two. Old Men, Young Blood: Transhumanism and the Promise and Peril of Immortality
Jenny Huberman
Chapter Three. A Responsible Death: Valuing Life from Mortality Tables to Wearables
Tamara Kneese
Chapter Four. Deathnography: Writing, Reading, and Radical Mourning
Casey Golomski
Chapter Five. "For the One Life We Have:" Temporalities of the Humanist Funeral in Britain
Mathew Engelke

Interlude. Notes from the Field
Chapter Six. Loss in/of the Business of Black Funerals
LaShaya Howie
Chapter Seven. Cuddling Death: Exploring the Materiality of Reproductive Loss
Stephanie Schiavenato

Part II. Death Care
Chapter Eight. The Haptics of Grief: A Taxonomy of Touch in Death Care
Margaret Schwartz
Chapter Nine. The Embalmer's Magic
Shannon Lee Dawdy
Chapter Ten. To Bear a Corpse: Home Funerals and Epistemic Cultures in US Death Care
Philip R. Olson
Chapter Eleven. Making a Living from Death: Chinese State Funeral Workers under the Market Economy
Huwy-min Lucia Liu
Chapter Twelve. Grief Transformed: New Rituals in a Singaporean Chinese Funeral Parlor
Ruth Toulson

On Endings
Commentary: The New Death
Ellen Badone
Afterword. Atoms, Star Dust, and Fungi: Death and Secular Eschatologies
Anya Bernstein

List of Contributors

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