James W Green
Death analyzed from a cross-cultural perspective. Topics include funerary practices, concepts of the soul and afterlife, cultural variations in grief, cemeteries as folk art, and medical and ethical issues in comparative context. American death practices compared to those of other cultures. Offered: jointly with JSIS C 320.
The course takes an anthropological approach to American death practices and their history. Students will learn about the variety of death-related beliefs and rituals occurring in human societies and how ours are a reflection of our particular historical experience. The challenges and bio-ethical aspects of medically and commercially managed death are considered. The course has a significant writing component.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lectures with lots of discussion. I use films, have guest speakers, and arrange a visit to a cemetery. Several papers are required and there is a final exam covering the readings and class discussions.
Class assignments and grading
There are several papers (topics vary), and a written final.
Evaluation of written work and final exam score.