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​English | New book on death and literature published by Michelle Wang, Daniel Jernigan and Neil Murphy

Published on: 09-Dec-2020

​English faculty members Assistant Professor Michelle Wang, Associate Professor Daniel Jernigan, and Professor Neil Murphy have published a new book titled The Routledge Companion to Death and Literature.


The Routledge Companion to Death and Literature seeks to understand the ways in which literature has engaged deeply with the ever-evolving relationship humanity has with its ultimate demise. It is the most comprehensive collection in this growing field of study and includes essays by Brian McHale, Catherine Belling, Ronald Schleifer, Helen Swift, and Ira Nadel, as well as the work of a generation of younger scholars from around the globe, who bring valuable transnational insights.

Encompassing a diverse range of mediums and genres – including biography and autobiography, documentary, drama, elegy, film, the novel and graphic novel, opera, picturebooks, poetry, television, and more – the contributors offer a dynamic mix of approaches that range from expansive perspectives on particular periods and genres to extended analyses of select case studies. Essays are included from every major Western period, including Classical, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and so on, right up to the contemporary.

This collection provides a telling demonstration of the myriad ways that humanity has learned to live with the inevitability of death, where “live with” itself might mean any number of things: from consoling, to memorializing, to rationalizing, to fending off, to evading, and, perhaps most compellingly of all, to escaping. Engagingly written and drawing on examples from around the world, this volume is indispensable to both students and scholars working in the fields of medical humanities, thanatography (death studies), life writing, Victorian studies, modernist studies, narrative, contemporary fiction, popular culture, and more.




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