Call for Book Chapters (Edited Collection): A Reflexive study of the Rituals Associated with Death and Dying (working title)
The editors wish to put together an interdisciplinary collection of essays that utilize reflexive scholarly inquiry to interrogate cultural responses to death by gathering essays that analyze various aspects of death while at the same time acknowledging that death affects us all. Any study on the topic cannot be decontextualized. We must all necessarily grapple with loss and mortality as we examine cultural responses to death. In order to do so, we would like to address in this work is how one can both critically view mortuary practices as an observer/researcher while also being an emotionally invested participant.
Each author should have a unique perspective on an observance relating to the dead, death, or dying. They should be present either as someone with close ties to the terminally ill individual or the deceased, or there must be some extrapolation from what is observed as a bystander to an expansion or change of the researcher’s own philosophy or emotional state relating to dying and/or death. These accounts must include both a critical analysis of the practices witnessed and an understanding of the emotional component that all aspects of death provoke in humans, whether it is disgust, fear, awe, sadness, anger, or even joy.
We suggest that applicants consider a preparatory reading of Renato Rosaldo’s essay “Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage,” the introduction to his text Culture & Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis (Beacon Press, 1993). Although this is an anthropological text, the editors wish to put together an interdisciplinary collection that is both holistic in its approach to this topic and accessible to a broader audience.