Mirrors of Passing: Unlocking the Mysteries of Death, Materiality, and Time

Mirrors of Passing: Unlocking the Mysteries of Death, Materiality, and Time


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Without exception, all people are faced with the inevitability of death, a stark fact that has immeasurably shaped societies and individual consciousness for the whole of human history. Mirrors of Passing offers a powerful window into this oldest of human preoccupations by investigating the interrelationships of death, materiality, and temporality across far-flung times and places. Stretching as far back as Ancient Egypt and Greece and moving through present-day locales as diverse as Western Europe, Central Asia, and the Arctic, each of the richly illustrated essays collected here draw on a range of disciplinary insights to explore some of the most fundamental, universal questions that confront us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781785338946
Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/01/2018
Pages: 326
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Rane Willerslev holds a doctorate from the University of Cambridge. His numerous books and publications include On the Run in Siberia (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), Taming Time, Timing Death: Social Technologies and Ritual (edited with Dorthe R. Christensen, Ashgate, 2013), and Transcultural Montage (edited with Christian Suhr, Berghahn, 2013).

Sophie Seebach holds a doctorate from Aarhus University. Her recent publications include pieces in the edited collection Mortuary Rites, Memory, and Authority/Agency: The Anthropology of Death in the Early Twenty-First Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and, with Lotte Meinert and Rane Willerslev, in the journal Africa.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Mirrors of Passing

Sophie Seebach and Rane Willerslev


Chapter 1. The Time of the Dead: Anthropology, Literature, and the Virtual Past

Stuart McLean

Chapter 2. Orpheus in Love, Death, and Time

Marina Prusac-Lindhagen

Chapter 3. Death before Time: Mythical Time in Ancient Egyptian Mortuary Religion

Rune Nyord

Chapter 4. When Bad Places Turn Worse: The Necropolitics of Death Sites in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Per Detlef Frederiksen

Chapter 5. Narratives of Ebola: Temporal and Material Changes of Social Riverscapes

Theresa Amman


Chapter 6. "Saving the Dead": Fighting for Life in the Siberian North

Rane Willerslev and Jeanette Lykkegård

Chapter 7. Death, Rebirth, Objects, and Time in North American Traditional Inuit Societies: an Overview

Matthew J. Walsh and Sean O’Neill

Chapter 8. Transforming and Creating Multiple Worlds: Strange Attractors in the Mongolian landscape

Malthe Lehrmann

Chapter 9. The Dead among the Living: Materiality and Time in Rethinking Death and Otherness in Lowland South America

Clarissa Martins Lima and Felipe Vander Velden


Chapter 10. Making Presence: Time Work and Narratives in Bereaved Parents' Online Grief Work

Dorthe Refslund Christensen and Kjetil Sandvik

Chapter 11. The Multiple Identities of Aslak Hætta and Mons Somby: The Case of the Sámi Skulls

Susan Matland

Chapter 12. Media, Ritual, and Immortality: The Case of a Masculine Hero

Johanna Sumiala

Chapter 13. The Temporality and Materiality of Life and Death in a Sepik Village

Christiane Falck


Chapter 14. The Wonderful Exhibition That Almost Was

Alexandra Schuessler


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