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    An introduction to the anthropological analysis of responses to death and dying, drawing on cross-cultural case studies and relevant anthropological theories of grief, mourning and funerary practice.

    This paper contextualises a variety of historical and contemporary responses to death and critically examines the development of ‘modern’ death practices.

    Paper is offered in yearly rotation with ANTH 228 Anthropology of Religion.

    About this paper

    Paper title Rites of Passage: Death, Grief and Ritual
    Subject Anthropology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    ANTH 103 or ANTH 105 or 54 points
    ANTH 325
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    This paper is designed for students with and without strong backgrounds in Anthropology.

    Teaching staff

    Dr Susan Wardell

    Teaching Arrangements

    One 2-hour lecture per week plus one tutorial per week.

    Mixture of both internal assessment and exam.


    All readings on eReserve.

    Course outline

    Will be available on Blackboard at the beginning of the course.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will:

    • Understand some of the seminal anthropological approaches/theories around the study of death and dying
    • Link specific death-related practices to broader social and cultural contexts
    • Identify the role of cultural values in debates around ethics and care in relation to death, dying, and the dead
    • Critically and reflexively consider the scope and limits of academic knowledge about grief and mourning


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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