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ANTH 1002: Anthropology in the world
Module 4, Week 3, Lecture 2
Social Sciences Building (A02), Room 410
November 6, 2019
Available at http://anthro.rschram.org/1002/2019/4.3.2
Today's topic can be upsetting. In fact, the point of this lecture is that when societies practice “death choice,” they also necessarily lead people to hypocognize certain aspects of death and its effects.
People can react as they need to (without interfering with other people). You can also always interrupt Ryan to slow lecture down, or to ask why he is presenting a particular piece of information. (When in doubt, just ask: “Ryan, what is the question that this topic will help us to answer?”)
The first main claim I want to make is prompted by two things about Sydney that I have always wanted to know more about:
These are, I argue, symptoms of a particular culture of death in which individuals are forced to be free, and choose their own deaths. Specifically, in these types of society, people will ignore and suppress public recognition of the presence of the dead as beings with ongoing rights and relationships to society as a whole. Death choice denies the rights of dead people as ancestors.
Not all dead people are erased, however, and the choice of whom to remember is very telling:
There will be a final in-class quiz in today's lecture. Go to Canvas and take Quiz no. 23: Anthropologists question authority.
The code for the quiz will be announced in class.
Awikiak, Glenda. 2019. “Hospital Wants People to Collect Bodies of Relatives.” The Papua New Guinea National, January 7, 2019. https://www.thenational.com.pg/hospital-wants-people-to-collect-bodies-of-relatives/.
Brook, Benedict. 2015. “The Station Where Only the Dead Depart.” News.com.au, October 16, 2015. https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-ideas/adventure/the-sydney-railway-station-designed-for-the-dead-is-to-be-opened-to-the-living/news-story/17c480c9d5c5c4cc992391117b8d119e#.wt7vi.
Ferguson, Kathy E., and Phyllis Turnbull. 1996. “Narratives of History, Nature, and Death at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 16 (2/3): 1–23. https://doi.org/10.2307/3346801.
Moore, Clive. 2015. “The Pacific Islanders’ Fund and the Misappropriation of the Wages of Deceased Pacific Islanders by the Queensland Government.” Australian Journal of Politics & History 61 (1): 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajph.12083.
Sydney Morning Herald. 1948. “New Park Planned,” April 9, 1948. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article18067188.
Thomas, Cónal. 2019. “Woman Who Died in Direct Provision Buried without Ceremony before Friends Were Told.” TheJournal.Ie, June 5, 2019. https://www.thejournal.ie/sylva-direct-provision-death-burial-funeral-4668250-Jun2019/.
Wolfson, Elizabeth. 2017. “The ‘Black Gash of Shame’—Revisiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Controversy.” Art21 Magazine, March 15, 2017. http://magazine.art21.org/2017/03/15/the-black-gash-of-shame-revisiting-the-vietnam-veterans-memorial-controversy/.