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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 presented in the chapters, and editorial introductions to the themes of the book, seek 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, Picasso’s poetry, cultural norms in Cuba, and the literary works of Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez. 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


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