Death, Burial, and Justice in the Americas


This interdisciplinary course explores the phenomenon of necroviolence: attacks on the dignity, integrity, and memory of the dead. Cases come from the United States, Latin America, and Canada. Topics include the rights of the dead, cultural attitudes towards the dead, and the 'ambiguous loss' experienced by loved ones of the disappeared. We also explore the activism of family members, volunteer cemetery reclamation groups, and forensic scientists who exhume mass graves to identify bodies. Students will interact with guest speakers, spend time in a local African American cemetery with ties to Duke, and do community work and research on behalf of the marginalized dead.
Curriculum Codes
  • EI
  • SS
Cross-Listed As
  • AAAS 283S
  • CULANTH 285S
  • ICS 283S
  • LATAMER 283S
  • RIGHTS 283S
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring