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Articulate Necrographies: Comparative Perspectives on the Voices and Silences of the Dead

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Articulate Necrographies

Comparative Perspectives on the Voices and Silences of the Dead

Edited by Anastasios Panagiotopoulos and Diana Espírito Santo
Afterword by Magnus Course

272 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-304-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-305-9 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The chapters in this book are scholarly and sophisticated, their data and conceptual approaches clearly stated. What makes this an original and fascinating contribution to end of life studies is the common focus on “sustaining necrographies,” culturally specific narratives of the active overlap between the concerns of the living and the interests and experiences of their dead. This book is an impressive piece of scholarship, is clearly written, and offers an unexpected approach to the subject of death that is timely and fascinating.” • James W. Green, University of Washington


Going beyond the frameworks of the anthropology of death, Articulate Necrographies offers a dramatic new way of studying the dead and their interactions with the living. Traditional anthropology has tended to dichotomize societies where death “speaks” from those where death is “silent” – the latter is deemed “scientific” and the former “religious” or “magical”. The collection introduces the concept of “necrography” to describe the way death and the dead create their own kinds of biographies in and among the living, and asks what kinds of articulations and silences this in turn produces in the lives of those affected.

Anastasios Panagiotopoulos is a senior post-doctoral researcher at Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia – Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal. His research includes the role of divination in Afro-Cuban religiosity, as this is related to issues of personhood, the historical imagination, race and secularism, among others.

Diana Espírito Santo is currently Assistant Professor of Social Anthropology at the Anthropology Program, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has worked on Afro-Cuban forms of spirit mediumship and Afro-Brazilian religions. Her recent publications include Developing the Dead: Mediumship and Selfhood in Cuban Espiritismo (University Press of Florida, 2015).

Subject: General Anthropology Religion General Cultural Studies


Anastasios Panagiotopoulos and Diana Espírito Santo


Chapter 1. Voices and Silences of the Dead in Western Modernity
Tony Walter

Chapter 2. Coping with Massive Urban Death: The Mutual Constitution of Mourning and Recovery in World War Two's Bombing War
Antonius C.G.M. Robben

Chapter 3. Biographies and Necrographies in Exchange: From the Self to the Other
Anastasios Panagiotopoulos


Chapter 4. The Making of Spirit Bodies and Death Perspectives in Afro-Cuban Religion
Diana Espírito Santo

Chapter 5. Sensory Necrography: The Flow of Signs and Sensations in the Corpse
Beth Conklin

Chapter 6. Unanchored Deaths: Grieving the Unplaceable in Samburu
Bilinda Straight

Chapter 7. The Sociality of Death: Life Potentialities and the Vietnamese Dead
Marina Marouda

Chapter 8. Enlightened Spirits: A Historical-anthropological Perspective on Spiritism, Science, Modernity and the Vitality of Spirits under Neoliberalism
Raquel Romberg

Chapter 9. Channeling the Flow: Dealing with Death in an African-based Religion
Gabriel Banaggia

Chapter 10. Of Shadows and Fears: Nepalese Ghost Stories from Classical Texts and Folklore to the Social Media
Davide Torri

Chapter 11. Death isn't What it Used to Be: Animist and Baptist Ontologies in Tribal India
Piers Vitebsky

Afterword: The Necrographic Imagination
Magnus Course


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