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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 Death & Dying in Hispanic Creative Essays
1 La muerte de la tierra/The Death of the World [Homeland], RoseMary Salum, MA, Translated by Debra D. Andrist, PhD
2 En la vicinidad de la muerte/Nearness of Death, Jorge Chavarro, MD, Translated by Debra D. Andrist, PhD
3 The Passage of J.S.D., Gwendolyn Díaz Ridgeway PhD
Part II Death & Dying in Societies and Religions in Hispanic Worlds
4 After We're Gone: An Overview of, and Introduction to, Death, Dying, Grief and Funeral Practices in Latin American Reality & Art Forms, Debra D. Andrist, PhD
5 La muerte/Death, Then & Now, Patricia González Gómes-Cásseres, PhD. Translated by Debra D. Andrist, PhD
6 Death/Ikú and the Spirits in Afro-Cuban Religions, Patricia González Gómes-Cásseres, PhD
7 Recasting Catholicism in the Face of Death: Las Casas, Zavala, and Romero, John Francis Burke, PhD
Part III Death & Dying in Hispanic Visual Arts
8 Euthanasia and Bioethics within the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT): The film, "Mar adentro/The Sea Inside, Elizabeth White Coscio, PhD
9 Death as Impetus for Art for Pablo Picasso, Enrique Mallén, PhD (reprint from The Body)
10 Life, Death & the Word: Liminal Syntax and Semantics of Picasso's Poetry, Enrique Mallén, PhD
11 Luisa Rivera's Graphic Representations/Interpretations of Death and Dying in Cien años de soledad (in Contrast with Hers for Amor en los tiempos de cólera), Stephen Miller, PhD

Part IV Death & Dying in Hispanic Literature
12 In this Madhouse: Myth, Message and Kaleidoscopic Kin in Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, Lauren M.P. Derby, MA (reprint from The Body)
13 Vision and Confession: The Murder Mysteries by Jorge Luis Borges, Haiqing Sun, PhD
14 Nellie Campobello: Notes Towards a Necronarrative, Eduardo Cerdán. Translated by Debra D. Andrist, PhD
Conclusions & Reflections
The Editor and Contributors


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