17 color illustrations

The New Death

Mortality and Death Care in the Twenty-First Century
Edited by Shannon Lee DawdyTamara Kneese



The New Death brings together scholars who are intrigued by today’s rapidly changing death practices and attitudes. New and different ways of treating the body and memorializing the dead are proliferating across global cities. Using ethnographic, historical, and media-based approaches, the contributors to this volume focus on new attitudes and practices around mortality and mourning—from the possibilities of digitally enhanced afterlives to industrialized “necro-waste,” the ethics of care, the meaning of secular rituals, and the political economy of death. Together, the chapters coalesce around the argument that there are two major currents running through the new death—reconfigurations of temporality and of intimacy. Pushing back against the folklorization endemic to anthropological studies of death practices and the whiteness of death studies as a field, the chapters strive to override divisions between the Global South and the Anglophone world, focusing instead on syncretization, globalization, and magic within the mundane.

Subjects: Anthropology

Contributor Bios
Shannon Lee Dawdy is a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her fieldwork combines archival, ethnographic, and archaeological methods to understand how objects and landscapes mediate human life.
Tamara Kneese is an assistant professor of media studies and the program director of gender and sexualities studies at the University of San Francisco. Her research examines digital cultures, using ethnographic and historical methods to understand emergent practices around labor, love, and loss.