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Thanatography: Literature and Death

Class at Faculty of Arts |


In-class participation: maximum of 3 missed classes, active participation in the discussion

Presentation: a short contextualization of a given text

Essay: an essay of about 1 500 words on a relevant topic (to be discussed in advance)


We have pushed death out of sight, stripping it of its importance for the life of an individual with each medicinal innovation and image of youth and health. However, it has returned in the form of the covid-19 pandemic and a conflict that has been unimaginable for many not too long ago.

This seminar focuses on different representations of death in European literature from antiquity to the present, paying attention to the changes in terms of narrative strategies, metaphors and cultural significance of death and related concepts, such as resurrection, immortality, or illness. The main goal, then, is to track the dominant figures and representations of death, in order to find the sources of thanatopoetics used by literary texts today.