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A Companion to the Anthropology of Death

A Companion to the Anthropology of Death

Antonius C. G. M. Robben

ISBN: 978-1-119-22229-3

Apr 2018, Wiley-Blackwell

552 pages

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$215.00

Description

A thought-provoking examination of death, dying, and the afterlife

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.

  • Written by leading international scholars in their fields
  • A comprehensive survey of the most recent empirical research in the anthropology of death
  • A fundamental critique of the early 20th century founding fathers of the anthropology of death
  • Cross-cultural texts from tribal and industrial societies
  • The collection is of interest to anyone concerned with the consequences of the state and massive violence on life and death

Notes on Contributors

An Anthropology of Death for the Twenty-First Century
Antonius C. G. M. Robben

Part I  Mortuary Rituals

1 Governing the Dead in Guatemala: Public Authority and Dead Bodies
Finn Stepputat

2 Evolving Mortuary Rituals in Contemporary Japan
Yohko Tsuji

3 Revealing Brands, Concealing Labor
George Sanders

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

5 Death and Separation in Post-Conflict Timor-Leste
Judith Bovensiepen

6 Migration, Death, and Conspicuous Redistribution in Southeastern Nigeria
Daniel Jordan Smith

Part II  Emotions

7 After Death: Event, Narrative, Feeling
Michael Lambek

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

9 The Pursuit of Sorrow and the Ethics of Crying
Olivier Allard

10 Mourning as Mutuality
Jason Danely

11 A Comparative Study of Jewish-Israeli and Buddhist-Khmer Trauma Descendant Discontinued Bonds with the Genocide Dead
Carol A. Kidron

12 Facing Death: On Mourning, Empathy and Finitude
Devin 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 Violence
Élisabeth Anstett

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

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

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

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

Part IV  Regeneration

18 Learning How to Die
Robert Desjarlais

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

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

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

22 Cryonic Suspension as Eschatological Technology in the Secular Age
Abou Farman

Part V  Corporeal Materiality

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

24 Death, Corporeality and Uncertainty in Zimbabwe
Joost Fontein

25 Death, Power, and Silence: Native Nations’ Ancestral Remains at the Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania
Jacqueline Fear-Segal

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

27 Death as Spectacle: Plastinated Bodies in Germany
Uli Linke

Part VI  Biomedical Issues

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

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

30 The Disappearance of Dying and Why it Matters
Helen Stanton Chapple

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

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

Index