Death, the "supreme and final crisis of life" (Malinowski), calls for collective understandings and communal responses. What care is due the dying? What indicates that death has occurred? How is the corpse to be handled? The course uses ethnographic and historical sources to indicate how human communities have answered these questions, and to determine just how unusual are the circumstances surrounding dying in the contemporary Western world. Not open to first year students. Enrollment limited to 30.