Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Research Seminar

Being Death Otherwise | Anne Allison

Wednesday 11 October 2023
Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

This edition of the Unfolding Finitudes webinar series will be a hybrid session. Participants are invited to attend in person or online. Please register via the button below. The meeting link will be sent to registered participants one week before the event.

Register to participate online and receive the link

On Wednesday the 11th of October Prof. Anne Allison (Duke University) will visit us to give a talk about her new book Being Dead Otherwise (Duke University Press 2023). This talk is a organised by the Globalizing Palliative Care research group as part of the Unfolding Finitudes book talks and the montly CADS Research Seminars

Dr. Andrew Littlejohn (Leiden University) will be discussant for this talk.

About the book Being Dead Otherwise

With an aging population, declining marriage and childbirth rates, and a rise in single households, more Japanese are living and dying alone. Many dead are no longer buried in traditional ancestral graves where descendants would tend their spirits, and individuals are increasingly taking on mortuary preparation for themselves. In Being Dead Otherwise Anne Allison examines the emergence of new death practices in Japan as the old customs of mortuary care are coming undone. She outlines the proliferation of new industries, services, initiatives, and businesses that offer alternative means---ranging from automated graves, collective grave sites, and crematoria to one-stop mortuary complexes and robotic priests---for tending to the dead. These new burial and ritual practices provide alternatives to long-standing traditions of burial and commemoration of the dead. In charting this shifting ecology of death, Allison outlines the potential of these solutions to radically reorient sociality in Japan in ways that will impact how we think about the end of life, identity, tradition, and culture in Japan and beyond.

About the author Anne Allison

Anne Allison is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University and author of Precarious Japan, also published by Duke University Press, Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination, and Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club.

Bookcover Being Dead Otherwise
Bookcover Being Dead Otherwise
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