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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

James W Green
ANTH 322
Seattle Campus

Comparative Study of Death

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.

Class description

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.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

There are several papers (topics vary), and a written final.

Evaluation of written work and final exam score.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by James W Green
Date: 11/03/2010