We’ve reached the half-way point in the semester, which means that my students have turned in and received midterm grades (for this Tumblr archiving and contextualizing examples of digital death) and I have received my midterm course evaluations. One of the requests for the second half of the semester is that the learning goals of the course be updated to reflect progress so far. This has gotten me to thinking about what I’d *like* them to answer if faced with Caleb McDaniel’s (excellent) course eval question – “what is the most important thing you have learned in this class?”
For me, one of the most important theme of the semester has been the ways in which structures of power and inequality play out, even in death. This should come as no surprise. Power, deployed through assumptions and expectations about gender, class, race and more, shapes most aspects of our lives. It is in no way shocking that it might also shape our deaths.
These structures of death and inequality were made visible in a field trip we took today to the Christian Aid Society cemetery. This block of land – carved out of the farm …read more