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Mirrors of Passing
Unlocking the Mysteries of Death, Materiality, and Time
Edited by Sophie Seebach and Rane Willerslev
326 pages, 102 color illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-908-0 $200.00/£142.00 Hb Published (August 2018)
ISBN 978-1-78533-894-6 $50.00/£36.00 Pb Not Yet Published (August 2018)
eISBN 978-1-78533-895-3 eBook
“Ambitious and engaging, the essays in this volume demonstrate how diverse conceptions of time, in relation to death, are present across history, geography, and media. Beginning with the first chapter’s enchanting examination of a James Joyce story, and continuing through the various ethnographies, the contributors have provided us with new ways of engaging with some familiar themes.” · Barbara Graham, author of Death, Materiality, and Mediation: An Ethnography of Remembrance in Ireland
Without exception, all people are faced with the inevitability of death, a stark fact that has immeasurably shaped societies and individual consciousness for the whole of human history. Mirrors of Passing offers a powerful window into this oldest of human preoccupations by investigating the interrelationships of death, materiality, and temporality across far-flung times and places. Stretching as far back as Ancient Egypt and Greece and moving through present-day locales as diverse as Western Europe, Central Asia, and the Arctic, each of the richly illustrated essays collected here draw on a range of disciplinary insights to explore some of the most fundamental, universal questions that confront us.
Sophie Seebach holds a doctorate from Aarhus University. Her recent publications include pieces in the edited collection Mortuary Rites, Memory, and Authority/Agency: The Anthropology of Death in the Early Twenty-First Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and, with Lotte Meinert and Rane Willerslev, in the journal Africa.
Rane Willerslev holds a doctorate from the University of Cambridge. His numerous books and publications include On the Run in Siberia (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), Taming Time, Timing Death: Social Technologies and Ritual (edited with Dorthe R. Christensen, Ashgate, 2013), and Transcultural Montage (edited with Christian Suhr, Berghahn, 2013).
Subject: General Anthropology General Cultural Studies Religion
Sophie Seebach and Rane Willerslev
Chapter 1. Dead in the Water: A Conjuration of Some Atlantic Specters
Chapter 2. Orpheus at the Gate of Hades: Lost Love, Liminality and Suspended Time
Chapter 3. Death before Time: Mythical Time in Ancient Egyptian Mortuary Religion
Chapter 4. When Bad Places Turn Worse: The Necropolitics of Death Sites in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Per Detlef Frederiksen
Chapter 5. Narratives of Ebola: Enduring Uncertainties in Times of Crises
Chapter 6. Creatively Re-inventing Old Mortuary Rituals: Keeping Chukchi Life Flowing
Jeanette Lykkegård & Rane Willerslev
Chapter 7. Death, Rebirth, Objects, and Time in North American traditional Inuit Societies: an Overview
Matthew J. Walsh and Sean O’Neill
Chapter 8. Transforming and creating multiple worlds: Strange attractors in the Mongolian landscape
Chapter 9. The Dead among the Living: Rethinking Death and Otherness in Lowland South America
Clarissa Martins Lima and Felipe Vander Velden
Chapter 10. Time Heals All Wounds? Bereaved Parents’ Timework and Renegotiation of Life, from Periods of Mourning to Everyday Practices
Dorthe Refslund Christensen and Kjetil Sandvik
Chapter 11. Multiple Identities: The Case of the Sami skulls.
Chapter 12. Time, Death, and Immortality: The Case of a Tragic Masculine Hero
Chapter 13. The Temporality and Materiality of Life and Death in a Sepik Village
Chapter 14. The Wonderful Exhibition that Almost was
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