ECU Libraries Catalog

American afterlives : reinventing death in the twenty-first century / Shannon Lee Dawdy ; with images by Daniel Zox.

Author/creator Dawdy, Shannon Lee, 1967- author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2021]
Descriptionxxiii, 246 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents The Hole -- Flesh -- Bones -- Dirt -- Spirit -- Epilogue.
Abstract "What do you think happens to you when you die? And what do you want done with your body? For three years Shannon Lee Dawdy travelled the U.S., from Vermont to California, Illinois to Alabama, posing such questions to a wide range of people from all walks of life. Many of her interlocutors recently lost loved ones. She also spoke to people who have made death their business: funeral directors, death care entrepreneurs, designers, cemetery owners, and death doulas about the changes they were seeing, and in many cases promoting, in how the bodies of recently-deceased persons are being treated, and how the memory of the deceased are being memorialized, in the U.S. Her ethnographic research resulted in this book, a wide-ranging investigation into rapidly-changing death practices in the twenty-first century United States. The author is also working on a documentary film project on this topic with cinematographer Daniel Zox. Still photos from the film work will appear in this book"-- Provided by publisher.
Abstract "A mesmerizing trip across America to investigate the changing face of death in contemporary lifeDeath in the United States is undergoing a quiet revolution. You can have your body frozen, dissected, composted, dissolved, or tanned. Your family can incorporate your remains into jewelry, shotgun shells, paperweights, and artwork. Cremations have more than doubled, and DIY home funerals and green burials are on the rise. American Afterlives is Shannon Lee Dawdy's lyrical and compassionate account of changing death practices in America as people face their own mortality and search for a different kind of afterlife.As an anthropologist and archaeologist, Dawdy knows that how a society treats its dead yields powerful clues about its beliefs and values. As someone who has experienced loss herself, she knows there is no way to tell this story without also reexamining her own views about death and dying. In this meditative and gently humorous book, Dawdy embarks on a transformative journey across the United States, talking to funeral directors, death-care entrepreneurs, designers, cemetery owners, death doulas, and ordinary people from all walks of life. What she discovers is that, by reinventing death, Americans are reworking their ideas about personhood, ritual, and connection across generations. She also confronts the seeming contradiction that American death is becoming at the same time more materialistic and more spiritual.Written in conjunction with a documentary film project, American Afterlives features images by cinematographer Daniel Zox that provide their own testament to our rapidly changing attitudes toward death and the afterlife"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references and index.
Issued in other formOnline version: Dawdy, Shannon Lee, 1967- American afterlives Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 2021 9780691228457
LCCN 2021008929
ISBN9780691210643 hardcover
ISBN0691210640 hardcover
ISBNelectronic book

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Joyner General Stacks GT3150 .D36 2021 ✔ Available Place Hold