Death in the Classroom: Writing about Love and Loss

Death in the Classroom: Writing about Love and Loss

by Jeffrey Berman
Pub. Date:
State University of New York Press


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Death in the Classroom: Writing about Love and Loss

Shows how death education can be brought from the healing professions to the literature classroom.

In Death in the Classroom, Jeffrey Berman writes about Love and Loss, the course that he designed and taught two years after his wife’s death, in which he explored with his students the literature of bereavement. Berman, building on his previous courses that emphasized self-disclosing writing, shows how his students wrote about their own experiences with love and loss, how their writing affected classmates and teacher alike, and how writing about death can lead to educational and psychological breakthroughs. In an age in which eighty percent of Americans die not in their homes but in institutions, and in which, consequently, the living are separated from the dying, Death in the Classroom reveals how reading, writing, and speaking about death can play a vital role in a student’s education.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791476321
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 01/08/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 301
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents


1. Getting Started

2. Writing an Obituary

3. Writing a Eulogy

4. On Teaching the Book of Job—and Being Denounced as a“False Prophet”

5. Writing on Religion and Death

6. Cathy’s Letter to Her Deceased Mother in Wuthering Heights

7. A Problem with Another Student, and Evaluating the Evaluator

8. Ten Things to Do before I Die

9. Writing about Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide

10. Writing about Jeff’s Former Students in Empathic Teaching

11. A Teacher’s Self-Eulogy

Appendix A: “Helping or Harming Students?” Richard Bower
Appendix B: “Writing Has Saved My Life,” Breanna’s Story
Appendix C: “Literature, If Anything, Will Save Me,”Sara E. Murphy
Appendix D: English 226: Love and Loss in Literature and Life

Works Cited
Student Writers

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