COURSE TITLE: Death and Dying: A
COURSE NUMBER: Anthropology 368
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Paul E. Voninski
OFFICE: 219 Mahar and 8 Snygg Hall
TELEPHONE EXTENSION: 3276 (Mahar) and 3055
OFFICE HOURS: In room 219 Mahar, Wednesday
2pm-5:30pm and 8:15-9:15pm
(or by appointment)
- Metcalf and Huntington, Celebrations of Death: The
Anthropology of Mortuary Rituals
- Dickenson, Leming and Mermann, Dying, Death and
Human death as seen from a bio-cultural perspective. A review of
the evolutionary background and cultural responses to death.
Cross-cultural examples will be given.
- To obtain a fuller understanding of the process of death as a
- To understand the pan human as well as the range of cultural
behavior associated with death.
- To obtain a clearer understanding of one's own finality.
- Introduction, and purpose of the course.
- Definitions of Death--When are you Dead:
- Clinical Death/Brain Death/Cellular Death/Cultural
- Problems of definition and modern medical technology.
- Biology of Death:
- Theoretical Basis for Death and Life
- Death as a Process--ongoing from conception
- Death and Non humans
- Genetics, Behavior and Death-- we are all programmed to
die, but we are not equally programmed.
- What is it Like to Die?
- Is it possible to know?
- What do we know--experiences of those who have died.
- Culture and the process of dying or is it possible to have
a "great" death ?
- An idea that refuses to die.
- Scientific/medical immortality--is death possible in a
- Demography and Death:
- When, why and where people die
- Life expectancy and life span
- Cross-cultural differences
- Disease and the human death--a review of the last two
- Social inequality of death
- Bereavement and Mourning:
- Theory and practice
- Cross-cultural examples with emphasis on Chinese and
- Types of death:
- Right to die--suicide and eugenics
- Institutional death
- Legal death--death as punishment
- Technological death or which way to the holocaust?--War in
- Extinction or yes we can take them with us!
- Coping with Death:
- Cross-cultural examples
- Death of a relative/friend
- Your death
- Life After Death?
- Cross-cultural beliefs
- New research on subject
- Is it a useful idea?
MEANS OF EVALUATION:
There will be two (2) in-class examinations. The examinations will
test your knowledge and control of lecture topics and reading
assignments--you will be tested on both.
- FIRST EXAM - 10/16/96
- FINAL EXAM - 12/18/96 (6:00 -8:00pm)
Each exam will be equally weighted. In addition, there will be
several short written assignments. You will be asked to write your
own obituary, eulogy, epitaph, and will.
Each writing assignment must be typed (except for the epitaph) and
by a preset date. The assignments are to be completed on the following
You will be graded on the completeness of your essay and any
errors of usage or spelling will result in a lower grade.
Students will not be allowed more than two (2) absences from this
- E-mail and network (world wide web) usage class to be held
Tuesday 9/11/96 5:30 -7:00 pm or 7:30 - 9:00 pm for those who need
introduction to those electronic services. This class will be held
in 211 Mahar.
- No class will be held on Wednesday October 9th., 1996 - I will
be at a conference. Classes from 10/08-10/11/96 will meet for an
additional 30 minutes to adjust for the missed class on 10/9/96.
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