Matters of Life and Death
weekly schedule.


Week 9 (Oct. 18-22)

The right way to grieve: modern Western attitudes and practices around death.
To be discussed: Is there an “American” attitude toward death? What evidence do we have for a culture’s attitudes? What historical developments explain our modern attitudes toward death? What cultural factors influence our modern practices around death?


Response essay on Kübler-Ross (due Mon., Oct. 18 by 11:59 PM)

Response essay on The Seventh Seal (due Mon., Oct. 18 by 11:59 PM)

Activity: Popular/scholarly comparison.

Reading Assignment: Mitford, “The American Way of Death”, pp. 14-19 (CR).
Mitford, “What the Public Wants”, pp. 123-137 (CR).
Ariès, "Forbidden Death", pp. 84-107 (CR).(due by class time Mon. Oct 18)

Skills & Information:

To read for week 10:

Conklin, “ ‘Thus are our bodies, thus was our custom’: mortuary cannibalism in an Amazonian society”, pp. 75-101 (CR). (due by class time Mon. Oct 25)

Assignments for week 10:

Course Log entry #3 (due Oct. 27)

Analytic essay on Mitford, “What the Public Wants” (due Mon., Oct. 25 by 11:59 PM)

Analytic essay on Ariès, "Forbidden Death" (due Mon., Oct. 25 by 11:59 PM)

Assignment schedule by week

Assignment schedule (whole term)



Course grade breakdown



course home course information beyond the course course blog instructor information student links events