What I hope to look at in my sections are the cultural, institutional
and psychological factors that contribute to our experience of death
and dying. Our discussions will be centered around the readings, and
will allow you to share your perspectives on death and dying.
Additionally, we will treat topics covered in the lecture and I
will bring in some short outside readings, film clips or other
materials to help facilitate the discussions. I hope that we
can examine the way in which various cultures deal with death,
and gain insight on the limitations of mainstream American culture's
manner of living with mortality. This exploration will allow us to
reflect on how our cultural understanding of death shapes the way we
live our lives, and open a space for visions of other ways of treating
the dying process. I encourage active participation which I do not
limit simply to the classroom. Besides in class participation,
you may also:
1.) send emails to me, Arcadia and/or Wendy discussing points raised in the class.
2.) post comments, questions, thoughts or personal experiences on the website
3.) discuss these issues with family, friends, co-workers, classmates
4.) research a particular cultural tradition dealing with issues of death and dying, such as Dia de los Muertos or the meditation practices of Tibetan monks.
5.) bring in quotes from songs, poems, novels and other texts about death and the dying process.