Death, Burial, and Justice in the Americas

ICS 283S

This interdisciplinary course explores the phenomenon of necroviolence: attacks on the dignity, integrity, and memory of the dead. Cases come from the U.S., 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 missing and disappeared. We also discuss the activism of family members, volunteers who work to preserve neglected cemeteries, and forensic scientists who exhume mass graves to identify the dead. Students will interact with guest speakers, visit a local African American cemetery with ties to Duke, and be involved throughout the semester in community work and research on behalf of the marginalized dead.

man carrying burial cross