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A Companion to the Anthropology of Death. Wiley Blackwell Companions to Anthropology

  • ID: 4425785
  • Book
  • 544 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Prominent scholars present their most recent work about mortuary rituals, grief and mourning, genocide, cyclical processes of life and death, biomedical developments, and the materiality of human corpses in this unique and illuminating book. Interrogating our most common practices surrounding death, the authors ask such questions as: How does the state wrest away control over the dead from bereaved relatives? Why do many mourners refuse to cut their emotional ties to the dead and nurture lasting bonds? Is death a final condition or can human remains acquire agency? The book is a refreshing reassessment of these issues and practices, a source of theoretical inspiration in the study of death.

With contributions written by an international team of experts in their fields, A Companion to the Anthropology of Death is presented in six parts and covers such subjects as: Governing the Dead in Guatemala; After Death Communications (ADCs) in North America; Cryonic Suspension in the Secular Age; Blood and Organ Donation in China; The Fragility of Biomedicine; and more. A Companion to the Anthropology of Death is a comprehensive and accessible volume and an ideal resource for senior undergraduate and graduate students in courses such as Anthropology of Death, Medical Anthropology, Anthropology of Violence, Anthropology of the Body, and Political Anthropology.

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Notes on Contributors

An Anthropology of Death for the Twenty–First CenturyAntonius C. G. M. Robben

Part I  Mortuary Rituals

1 Governing the Dead in Guatemala: Public Authority and Dead BodiesFinn Stepputat

2 Evolving Mortuary Rituals in Contemporary JapanYohko Tsuji

3 Revealing Brands, Concealing LaborGeorge Sanders

4 Playing with Corpses: Assembling Bodies for the Dead in Southwest ChinaErik Mueggler

5 Death and Separation in Post–Conflict Timor–LesteJudith Bovensiepen

6 Migration, Death, and Conspicuous Redistribution in Southeastern NigeriaDaniel Jordan Smith

Part II  Emotions

7 After Death: Event, Narrative, FeelingMichael Lambek

8 Reflections on the Work of Recovery, I and IIBeth A. Conklin

9 The Pursuit of Sorrow and the Ethics of CryingOlivier Allard

10 Mourning as MutualityJason Danely

11 A Comparative Study of Jewish–Israeli and Buddhist–Khmer Trauma Descendant Discontinued Bonds with the Genocide DeadCarol A. Kidron

12 Facing Death: On Mourning, Empathy and FinitudeDevin Flaherty and C. Jason Throop

Part III  Massive Death

13 What is a Mass Grave? Toward an Anthropology of Human Remains Treatment in Contemporary Contexts of Mass ViolenceÉlisabeth Anstett

14 Death on the Move: Pantheons and Reburials in Spanish Civil War ExhumationsFrancisco Ferrándiz

15 Accountability for Mass Death, Acts of Rescue and Silence in RwandaJennie E. Burnet

16 Impassable Visions: The Cambodia to Come, the Detritus in its WakeHudson McFann and Alexander Laban Hinton

17 Experience, Empathy, and Flexibility: On Participant Observation in Deadly FieldsIvana Maèek

Part IV  Regeneration

18 Learning How to DieRobert Desjarlais

19 Whirlpools, Glitter and Ferocious Intruders: The Palpability of Death in Chachi AnimismIstvan Praet

20 Shamanic Rebirth and the Paradox of Disremembering the Dead among Mapuche in ChileAna Mariella Bacigalupo

21 After Death Communications (ADCs): Signs from the Other World in Contemporary North AmericaEllen Badone

22 Cryonic Suspension as Eschatological Technology in the Secular AgeAbou Farman

Part V  Corporeal Materiality

23 From Here and to Death: The Archaeology of the Human BodyLiv Nilsson Stutz

24 Death, Corporeality and Uncertainty in ZimbabweJoost Fontein

25 Death, Power, and Silence: Native Nations Ancestral Remains at the Carlisle Barracks, PennsylvaniaJacqueline Fear–Segal

26 In the Absence of a Corpse: Rituals for Body Donors in the NetherlandsSophie Bolt

27 Death as Spectacle: Plastinated Bodies in GermanyUli Linke

Part VI  Biomedical Issues

28 The Body as Medicine: Blood and Organ Donation in ChinaCharlotte Ikels

29 Ethical Dilemmas in the Field: Witchcraft and Biomedical Aetiology in South AfricaIsak Niehaus

30 The Disappearance of Dying and Why it MattersHelen Stanton Chapple

31 The Fragility of Biomedicine: Death, Detachment and Moral Dilemmas of Care in a Kenyan HospitalRuth J. Prince

32 The New Normal: Mediated Death and Assisted Dying in the United StatesFrances Norwood


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Antonius C. G. M. Robben
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