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Picture of Death Down Under

Death Down Under

Twenty-first Century Dying, Death, Disposal and Memorialisation in the Antipodes

Editor(s): Ruth McManus

Book Description

Death is one of the most challenging aspects of living, demanding inventive and meaningful responses.

This insightful collection demonstrates cultural commitment to improving the conditions of the dying and dead and also documents the varied, creative ways that we, the living, already respond to death. Collectively, the 16 essays are an interrogation of the commonly held assumption that death is somehow hidden, denied, or done badly as standard practice. The underpinning themes and narratives in this anthology make a significant contribution to death studies debates and conversations by offering examples of post-colonial, multi-cultural practices that span professional and every-day points of intersection.

Death studies can be a challenging and complex field; nevertheless each contributor here highlights specific ways in which assumptions and beliefs about contemporary death practices can be unpicked, nuanced and challenged.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-4070-5
ISBN-10: 1-5275-4070-7
Date of Publication: 01/12/2019
Pages / Size: 284 / A5
Price: £61.99


Ruth McManus is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. She researches on social aspects of death and dying, and is inaugural President of the New Zealand Society for Death Studies. Her current projects include disaster memorialisation and new technologies for body disposal.

Jon Cornwall is currently the Education Advisor for the Centre for Early Learning in Medicine at Otago Medical School at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Trained originally as a physiotherapist and holding a PhD in Clinical Anatomy, his research interests are posthumous human assets including body donation, organ donation, and the utility of posthumous medical records. He is a member of the Federative International Committee for Ethics in the Medical Humanities, the committee that oversees global guideline development for bodies donated to medical science.

Sally Raudon is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, focusing on citizenship, the state, the body, and death. Before commencing her PhD studies, she was a Research Fellow at the University of Auckland and a Teaching Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.