The Work of the Dead

A Cultural History of Mortal Remains

Author: Thomas W. Laqueur

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400874513

Category: Social Science

Page: 736

View: 3884

The Greek philosopher Diogenes said that when he died his body should be tossed over the city walls for beasts to scavenge. Why should he or anyone else care what became of his corpse? In The Work of the Dead, acclaimed cultural historian Thomas Laqueur examines why humanity has universally rejected Diogenes's argument. No culture has been indifferent to mortal remains. Even in our supposedly disenchanted scientific age, the dead body still matters—for individuals, communities, and nations. A remarkably ambitious history, The Work of the Dead offers a compelling and richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century. The book draws on a vast range of sources—from mortuary archaeology, medical tracts, letters, songs, poems, and novels to painting and landscapes in order to recover the work that the dead do for the living: making human communities that connect the past and the future. Laqueur shows how the churchyard became the dominant resting place of the dead during the Middle Ages and why the cemetery largely supplanted it during the modern period. He traces how and why since the nineteenth century we have come to gather the names of the dead on great lists and memorials and why being buried without a name has become so disturbing. And finally, he tells how modern cremation, begun as a fantasy of stripping death of its history, ultimately failed—and how even the ashes of the victims of the Holocaust have been preserved in culture. A fascinating chronicle of how we shape the dead and are in turn shaped by them, this is a landmark work of cultural history. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

The Work of the Dead

A Cultural History of Mortal Remains

Author: Thomas W. Laqueur

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780691180939

Category:

Page: 736

View: 6024

The Greek philosopher Diogenes said that when he died his body should be tossed over the city walls for beasts to scavenge. Why should he or anyone else care what became of his corpse? In The Work of the Dead, acclaimed cultural historian Thomas Laqueur examines why humanity has universally rejected Diogenes's argument. No culture has been indifferent to mortal remains. Even in our supposedly disenchanted scientific age, the dead body still matters--for individuals, communities, and nations. A remarkably ambitious history, The Work of the Dead offers a compelling and richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century. The book draws on a vast range of sources--from mortuary archaeology, medical tracts, letters, songs, poems, and novels to painting and landscapes in order to recover the work that the dead do for the living: making human communities that connect the past and the future. Laqueur shows how the churchyard became the dominant resting place of the dead during the Middle Ages and why the cemetery largely supplanted it during the modern period. He traces how and why since the nineteenth century we have come to gather the names of the dead on great lists and memorials and why being buried without a name has become so disturbing. And finally, he tells how modern cremation, begun as a fantasy of stripping death of its history, ultimately failed--and how even the ashes of the victims of the Holocaust have been preserved in culture. A fascinating chronicle of how we shape the dead and are in turn shaped by them, this is a landmark work of cultural history.

The Work of the Dead

A Cultural History of Mortal Remains

Author: Thomas W. Laqueur

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780691157788

Category: History

Page: 736

View: 3337

The Greek philosopher Diogenes said that when he died his body should be tossed over the city walls for beasts to scavenge. Why should he or anyone else care what became of his corpse? In The Work of the Dead, acclaimed cultural historian Thomas Laqueur examines why humanity has universally rejected Diogenes's argument. No culture has been indifferent to mortal remains. Even in our supposedly disenchanted scientific age, the dead body still matters--for individuals, communities, and nations. A remarkably ambitious history, The Work of the Dead offers a compelling and richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century. The book draws on a vast range of sources--from mortuary archaeology, medical tracts, letters, songs, poems, and novels to painting and landscapes in order to recover the work that the dead do for the living: making human communities that connect the past and the future. Laqueur shows how the churchyard became the dominant resting place of the dead during the Middle Ages and why the cemetery largely supplanted it during the modern period. He traces how and why since the nineteenth century we have come to gather the names of the dead on great lists and memorials and why being buried without a name has become so disturbing. And finally, he tells how modern cremation, begun as a fantasy of stripping death of its history, ultimately failed--and how even the ashes of the victims of the Holocaust have been preserved in culture. A fascinating chronicle of how we shape the dead and are in turn shaped by them, this is a landmark work of cultural history.

The Dominion of the Dead

Author: Robert Pogue Harrison

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226317922

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 4902

How do the living maintain relations to the dead? Why do we bury people when they die? And what is at stake when we do? In The Dominion of the Dead, Robert Pogue Harrison considers the supreme importance of these questions to Western civilization, exploring the many places where the dead cohabit the world of the living—the graves, images, literature, architecture, and monuments that house the dead in their afterlife among us. This elegantly conceived work devotes particular attention to the practice of burial. Harrison contends that we bury our dead to humanize the lands where we build our present and imagine our future. As long as the dead are interred in graves and tombs, they never truly depart from this world, but remain, if only symbolically, among the living. Spanning a broad range of examples, from the graves of our first human ancestors to the empty tomb of the Gospels to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Harrison also considers the authority of predecessors in both modern and premodern societies. Through inspired readings of major writers and thinkers such as Vico, Virgil, Dante, Pater, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Rilke, he argues that the buried dead form an essential foundation where future generations can retrieve their past, while burial grounds provide an important bedrock where past generations can preserve their legacy for the unborn. The Dominion of the Dead is a profound meditation on how the thought of death shapes the communion of the living. A work of enormous scope, intellect, and imagination, this book will speak to all who have suffered grief and loss.

Solitary Sex

A Cultural History of Masturbation

Author: Thomas Walter Laqueur

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 501

View: 4618

Discusses the worldly views of masturbation as transforming from an act of little concern in the ancient world to one of sinfulness and embarrassment in the twentieth century.

Purified by Fire

A History of Cremation in America

Author: Stephen Prothero

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520236882

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 7655

Publisher Fact Sheet A history of cremation in America.

Making Sex

Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud

Author: Thomas Walter Laqueur

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674543553

Category: Psychology

Page: 313

View: 2380

History of sex in the West from the ancients to the moderns by describing the developments in reproductive anatomy and physiology.

A Social History of Dying

Author: Allan Kellehear

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139461427

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 9605

Our experiences of dying have been shaped by ancient ideas about death and social responsibility at the end of life. From Stone Age ideas about dying as otherworld journey to the contemporary Cosmopolitan Age of dying in nursing homes, Allan Kellehear takes the reader on a 2 million year journey of discovery that covers the major challenges we will all eventually face: anticipating, preparing, taming and timing for our eventual deaths. This book, first published in 2007, is a major review of the human and clinical sciences literature about human dying conduct. The historical approach of this book places our recent images of cancer dying and medical care in broader historical, epidemiological and global context. Professor Kellehear argues that we are witnessing a rise in shameful forms of dying. It is not cancer, heart disease or medical science that presents modern dying conduct with its greatest moral tests, but rather poverty, ageing and social exclusion.

The Corpse

A History

Author: Christine Quigley

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 147661377X

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 7914

Throughout the centuries, different cultures have established a variety of procedures for handling and disposing of corpses. Often the methods are directly associated with the deceased’s position in life, such as a pharaoh’s mummification in Egypt or the cremation of a Buddhist. Treatment by the living of the dead over time and across cultures is the focus of study. Burial arrangements and preparations are detailed, including embalming, the funeral service, storage and transport of the body, and forms of burial. Autopsies and the investigative process of causes of deliberate death are fully covered. Preservation techniques such as cryonic suspension and mummification are discussed, as well as a look at the “recycling” of the corpse through organ donation, donation to medicine, animal scavengers, cannibalism, and, of course, natural decay and decomposition. Mistreatments of a corpse are also covered.

Who Owns the Dead?

Author: Jay D. Aronson

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674971493

Category: History

Page: 318

View: 1995

After the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch proclaimed that his staff would do more than confirm the victims’ identity. They would attempt to return to families every human body part larger than a thumbnail. As Jay D. Aronson shows, delivering on that promise proved to be a monumentally difficult task.

This Republic of Suffering

Death and the American Civil War

Author: Drew Gilpin Faust

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0375703837

Category: History

Page: 346

View: 879

Assesses the impact of the enormous carnage of the Civil War on every aspect of American life from a material, political, intellectual, cultural, social, and spiritual perspective.

Death in England

An Illustrated History

Author: Peter C. Jupp,Clare Gittings

Publisher: Manchester University Press

ISBN: 9780719058110

Category: Death

Page: 282

View: 4552

Death in England provides the first ever social history of death from the earliest times 500,000 BC to Diana, Princess of Wales.. The book reveals how attitudes, practices and beliefs about death have undergone constant change: how, why and at what ages people died; plagues and violence; wills and deathbeds; funerals and memorials; beliefs and bereavement.. Richly illustrated - striking and often very powerful images.. In time with the spirit of the age and coming Millenium key scholars in their field write on their respective periods.. With the recent upturn of popular interest in death - through films,TV, books and newspapers - this book will prove stimulating to the general reader; to students of archaeology, art, history, medicine and sociology.

Death in the New World

Cross-Cultural Encounters, 1492-1800

Author: Erik R. Seeman

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812206002

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 3127

Reminders of death were everywhere in the New World, from the epidemics that devastated Indian populations and the mortality of slaves working the Caribbean sugar cane fields to the unfamiliar diseases that afflicted Europeans in the Chesapeake and West Indies. According to historian Erik R. Seeman, when Indians, Africans, and Europeans encountered one another, they could not ignore the similarities in their approaches to death. All of these groups believed in an afterlife to which the soul or spirit traveled after death. As a result all felt that corpses—the earthly vessels for the soul or spirit—should be treated with respect, and all mourned the dead with commemorative rituals. Seeman argues that deathways facilitated communication among peoples otherwise divided by language and custom. They observed, asked questions about, and sometimes even participated in their counterparts' rituals. At the same time, insofar as New World interactions were largely exploitative, the communication facilitated by parallel deathways was often used to influence or gain advantage over one's rivals. In Virginia, for example, John Smith used his knowledge of Powhatan deathways to impress the local Indians with his abilities as a healer as part of his campaign to demonstrate the superiority of English culture. Likewise, in the 1610-1614 war between Indians and English, the Powhatans mutilated English corpses because they knew this act would horrify their enemies. Told in a series of engrossing narratives, Death in the New World is a landmark study that offers a fresh perspective on the dynamics of cross-cultural encounters and their larger ramifications in the Atlantic world.

The Politics of Mourning

Author: Micki McElya

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674974069

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 6053

Arlington National Cemetery is America’s most sacred shrine, a destination for four million visitors who each year tour its grounds and honor those buried there. For many, Arlington’s symbolic importance places it beyond politics. Yet as Micki McElya shows, no site in the United States plays a more political role in shaping national identity.

Death and representation

Author: Sarah McKim Webster Goodwin

Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr

ISBN: N.A

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 336

View: 4994

Death is a subject of increasing interest in virtually all academic disciplines, yet there is surprisingly little theoretical work on the representation of death in literary contexts. Death and Representation offers a unique collection of international and interdisciplinary essays, rich in cultural perspectives but sharing a relatively common vocabulary. It provides models for a number of interrelated approaches--including psychoanalytic, feminist, and historical--with essays by prominent and promising scholars. Contributors are Ernst van Alphen, Mieke Bal, Regina Barreca, Elisabeth Bronfen, Carol Christ, Sander Gilman, Sarah Webster Goodwin, Margaret Higonnet, Regina Janes, Ellie Ragland-Sullivan, Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, Ronald Schleifer, Charles Segal, and Garrett Stewart.

The Mountains of the Mediterranean World

Author: J. R. McNeill

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521522885

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 1975

An environmental history of the mountain areas of Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Morocco.

Death and the Idea of Mexico

Author: Claudio Lomnitz

Publisher: Zone Books (NY)

ISBN: 9781890951542

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 581

View: 8050

The history of Mexico's fearless intimacy with death--the elevation of death to the center of national identity.

Bereavement and Commemoration

An Archaeology of Mortality

Author: Sarah Tarlow

Publisher: Blackwell Publishing

ISBN: 9780631206149

Category: Social Science

Page: 207

View: 3818

In this book, Sarah Tarlow provides an innovative archaeology of bereavement, mortality and memory in the early modern and modern period. She draws on literary and historical sources as well as on material evidence to examine the evolution of attitudes towards death and commemoration over four centuries. The book argues that changes in commemorative practices over time relate to a changing relationship between the living and the dead and are inextricably linked to the conceptions of identity and personal relationships which characterize later Western history. The author's approach is different from most previous work in this area not only because of its focus on material culture but also because of its incorporation of experiential and emotional factors into discussions of human relations and understandings in the past. As well as introducing readers to the study of death and rememberance in the past, this book contributes to wider archaeological debates about the interpretation of meaning and the place of emotion and experience in archaeological study. It will be of interest to all scholars and students interested in critical and theoretically informed approaches to the study of people in the past.

Mortal Remains

Author: Christopher Evans

Publisher: Gateway

ISBN: 0575102500

Category: Fiction

Page: 319

View: 4701

The Solar System is ours. Biotechnology has provided the Settled Worlds with a riot of habitable environments; sentient craft ply the routes between the planets; the souls of the dead live on in the Noosphere, a psychic Net where they can be contacted by the living. Paradise? Not quite - and when a strange womb is recovered from a living spaceship crashed on Mars it swiftly becomes the focus of intrigue and murder as the Settled Worlds begin to disintegrate under the strain of a vicious interplanetary war between two rival factions.

Death, Grief and Poverty in Britain, 1870–1914

Author: Julie-Marie Strange

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139445870

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 1579

With high mortality rates, it has been assumed that the poor in Victorian and Edwardian Britain did not mourn their dead. Contesting this approach, Julie-Marie Strange studies the expression of grief among the working class, demonstrating that poverty increased - rather than deadened - it. She illustrates the mourning practices of the working classes through chapters addressing care of the corpse, the funeral, the cemetery, commemoration, and high infant mortality rates. The 2005 book draws on a broad range of sources to analyse the feelings and behaviours of the labouring poor, using not only personal testimony but also fiction, journalism, and official reports. It concludes that poor people did not only use spoken or written words to express their grief, but also complex symbols, actions and, significantly, silence. This book will be an invaluable contribution to an important and neglected area of social and cultural history.