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Jail for the Dead: How New York City Buries the Unclaimed

General Programming

October 22, 2019

What is death? And what comes after? The end of life. The end of this life. Heaven. Nothingness. Ghosts, real and imagined. Such questions, and answers, have often been understood as quintessentially religious and quintessentially philosophical. They are also social, cultural, and political. Academic and affective. In this year-long series, IRCPL will feature a range of events and speakers, including leading scholars in history and anthropology, as well as film makers, artists, journalists, and social activists. The purpose of the series is to explore a range of topics and issues, from the history of burial and mourning practices to contemporary debates over cryogenics, the political dimensions of urban violence, and the role that music can play in the process of grieving. We will stage lectures, screen films, and feature artists in conversation and in performance. The series will conclude with a “death café” in late April, and showcasing of the year’s events in the on-line review, Public Books.