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
Antonius C. G. M. Robben is Professor of Anthropology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and past President of The Netherlands Society of Anthropology. His most recent edited books include Necropolitics: Mass Graves and Exhumations in the Age of Human Rights (2017) and the second edition of Death, Mourning, and Burial: A Cross-Cultural Reader (Wiley Blackwell, 2017). He is also the author of the monograph Argentina Betrayed: Memory, Mourning, and Accountability (2018).