Death and Dying in Los Angeles
How has Los Angeles been shaped by death? Join thanatologist Diana Blaine on an excursion into the city seeking answers to this provocative question. Students will examine mortality through the lens of theology, ritual, anthropology, criminology, forensics, narrative, and tourism, applying the theories of scholars regarding the cultural meaning of death to locations throughout southern California. We will visit cemeteries—from pioneer to progressive—theaters, hospitals, libraries, studio sets, amusement parks, tourist attractions, memorials and museums, asking what these institutions reveal about the ideology of the societies that produced them. Ultimately this experiential course will test Thomas Laqueur’s assertion that the dead work on the living, forming human communities around them, because of them, and grounded by them. What kind of work have the dead been doing in this historical—and mythical—city?
For more information, please contact Professor Diana Blaine at email@example.com