Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject explores cultural approaches to the single event which will occur to all humankind: death. While concentrating on the archaeology, art and textual evidence from Greco-Roman antiquity, the subject also draws upon case studies from later periods (including the Early Modern and Modern periods) to illustrate the richness and variety of cultural responses to death, employing modern ethnographic parallels to aid the interpretation of past practices. Topics covered will include the role of burial practices in defining living societies, through declarations not only of religion but also social status, age, gender and ethnicity in funerary procedures and monuments constructed to commemorate the dead; ideas, literature and art surrounding the afterlife, ghosts and underworld; and social approaches to ways of death such as war, disease and crime.

FacultyFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorGillian Shepherd

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjects MDS3DBA

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2014, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorGillian Shepherd

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
Two 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.

Tutorial Week: 31 - 43
One 1.0 hours tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments%
Research essay (2500 words)60
Source analysis (object/text)(1500 words)40