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Death & Dying in Hispanic Worlds

The Nexus of Religions, Cultural Traditions, and the Arts

The Editor, Dr. Debra D. Andrist, Professor of Spanish at Sam Houston State University (SHSU), was multi-term founding chair of Foreign Languages there, former multi-term Chair of Modern & Classical Languages/Cullen Professor of Spanish at the University of St. Thomas/Houston (UST) and rose to Associate Professor of Spanish, Baylor University. Her scholarly work focuses on art and literature by and about women and medical topics.

The dispassionate intellectual examination of the concepts of death & dying contrasts dramatically with the emotive grieving process experienced by those who mourn. Death & dying are binary concepts in human cultures. Cultural differences reveal their mutual exclusiveness in philosophical outlook, language, and much more. Other sets of binaries come into play under intellectual consideration and emotive behavior, which further divide and shape perceptions, beliefs, and actions of individuals and groups. The presence or absence of religious beliefs about life and death, and disposition of the body and/or soul, are prime distinctions. Likewise the age-old binary of reason vs. faith.

To many observers, the topic of death and dying in the Hispanic cultural tradition is usually limited to that of Mexico and its transmogrified “religious” festival day of Día de los Muertos. The studies in this book seeks to widen this representation, and set forth the implications of the binary aspects of death and dying in numerous cultures throughout the so-called “Hispanic world,” including indigenous and European-derived beliefs and practices in religion, society, art, film & literature. Contributions include engagement with the pre-Hispanic world throughout the Americas, Picasso’s poetry from Spain, cultural norms in Cuba, and the literary works of Isabel Allende of Chile, Jorge Luis Borges of Argentina and Gabriel García Márquez of Colombia. Underlying the arguments presented is Saussurean structuralist theory, which provides a platform to disentangle cultural context in comparative settings.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-78976-063-7
Hardback Price: £75.00 / $94.95
Release Date: November 2020
Page Extent / Format: 256 pp. 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No



Part I Introduction to Death & Dying in Religious Traditions in the Hispanic Worlds
1 Death before Spain and Today's Celebrations of the Day of the Dead and La Santa Muerte in Mexico, Patricia González Gómez-Cásserez, PhD
2 Death and the Spirits in Afro-Cuban Religions, Patricia González Gómez-Cásserez, PhD
3 Recasting Catholicism in the Face of Death: Las Casas, de Zavala, and Romero, John Francis Burke, PhD
4 Euthanasia and Bioethics within the Catholic Intellectual Tradition: The film "Mar Adentro/The Sea Inside, Elizabeth White Coscio, PhD
Part II Introduction to Death & Dying in Hispanic Arts & Cultures
5 Cuban Filmmaker, Gloria Rolando, Haiqing Sun, PhD
6 The (Dead) Body, Enrique Mallén, PhD (reprint from The Body)
7 The Liminal Syntax and Semantics of Picasso's Poetry, Enrique Mallén, PhD
8 History of, and Art Related to, Funeral Practices in Latin America, Debra D. Andrist, PhD
Part III Introduction Death & Dying to Hispanic Literature
9 Vision and Confession: The Murder Mysteries by Jorge Luis Borges, Haiqing Sun, PhD
10 Luisa Rivera's Graphic Representations/Interpretations of Death and Dying in Gabriel García Márquez's Cien años de soledad, Stephen Miller, PhD
11 An Obsession with Preservation of the Dead Body in the Works of Isabel Allende, Debra D. Andrist, PhD
12 Nellie Campobello: Notes Towards a Necronarrative, Eduardo Cerdán. Trans. Debra D. Andrist, PhD
13        Jorge Chavarro, MD, Trans. Debra D. Andrist, PhD
Part IV Introduction to Death & Dying in Hispanic Interview & Creative Essay
14 When You Should Disobey Your Parents: The Argentine Collective Historias Desobedientes and the Children of Perpetrators of Crimes Against Humanity, Gwendolyn Díaz Ridgeway PhD
15 The Passage of J.S.D., Gwendolyn Díaz Ridgeway PhD
16 La muerte de la tierra/The Death of the Earth, RoseMary Salum, MA, Trans. Debra D. Andrist, PhD
The Editor and Contributors


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