In a period when American cemeteries get ever fewer visitors, it is clear that in many communities, grave stones and mausolea are no longer effective ways to commemorate the dead. This talk traces the development of mobile memorials, from tattoos to car decal memorials, as contemporary ways of (literally) carrying the dead around with us, and making the status of the bereaved clearly evident to those around them through a visual marker. In the contemporary world, where one is not given much time off to actually mourn and process a death, or to withdraw from the world to grieve, the practice of displaying one’s status as mourner becomes even more valuable. Mobile memorials operate as one way of both affirming one’s status as one in mourning and reconnecting the dead with the living.
Candi Cann is an Assistant Professor at Baylor University and teaches world cultures, world religions, and Buddhism in both the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core and the Religion Department. She received both her A.M. and Ph.D. in Comparative Religion from Harvard University, an M.A. in Asian Religions from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a B.A. in Asian Studies and English from St. Andrews in North Carolina. Her research focuses on death and dying, and the impact of remembering (and forgetting) in shaping how lives are recalled, remembered and celebrated. Dr. Cann's most recent book is Virtual Afterlives: Grieving the Dead in the Twenty-first Century with the University Press of Kentucky, and she has also written various chapters and articles on virtual/Internet memorialization. Her forthcoming book Dying to Eat examines the intersection of death and food and the ways in which food serves to connect both the dying and the dead with the realm of the living.
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Series Funders and Co-Sponsors: UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment), UF Smathers Libraries, UF Office of Research, School of Art + Art History's Harn Eminent Scholar Lecture Series, UF International Center, UF Department of History, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UF Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, UF Center for Latin American Studies, UF Department of Religion, Alachua County Library District, UF College of Veterinary Medicine, UF Digital Worlds Institute, UF Honors Program.
For an overview of Death: Confronting the Great Divide, click here.
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