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American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney

By Kate Sweeney

A person dies. What occurs next?

One relatives inters their matriarch's ashes at the flooring of the sea. one other holds a memorial weenie roast every year at a greenburial cemetery. An 1898 advert for embalming fluid gives you, "You could make mummies with it!" whereas a number one modern burial vault is touted as impervious to the weather. A grieving mom, one hundred fifty years in the past, may spend her days tending a backyard at her daughter's grave. at the present time, she may have a tendency the roadside memorial she erected on the spot her daughter used to be killed. One mom wears a locket containing her daughter's hair; the opposite, a necklace containing her ashes.

What occurs after an individual dies depends upon our own tales and on the place these tales fall in a bigger tale—that of demise in the United States. It's a robust story that we frequently maintain hidden from our daily lives until eventually we need to face it.

American Afterlife through Kate Sweeney finds this global via a collective portrait of usa citizens prior and current who locate themselves in my opinion concerned with loss of life: a klatch of obit writers within the wilderness, a funeral voyage at the Atlantic, a fourth-generation funeral director—even a midwestern museum that takes us again in time to fulfill our deathobsessed Victorian progenitors. every one tale illuminates info in one other till whatever better is printed: a panorama that feels straight away unusual and wide-spread, one that's through turns unusual, tragic, poignant, and infrequently even humorous.

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Extra resources for American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning

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The body horror and pain images that serve as points War: Visual Brutality and Affective Vectors 47 of disruption to these processes here are examined more specifically in the next chapter in terms of the perpetration and visualisation of torture, through practices that seek to mobilise the force of pain – as experience and image event – within a war effort or as a mode of resistance. 3 Torture: Obscenity and Complicity As two powerful and contentious forms of visual obscenity, torture and pornography have raised many common concerns.

Xxvii; Stahl, 2010). But the virtual works through war in other ways as well, through the modulation of affect and intensity, in the thresholds at which the pain of war becomes perceptible. Wars often appear to be enacted at the largest scale of institutional, industrial and political activity. They are also increasingly waged through a micropolitics operating at the scale of bodies in the flow of affect and sensation awash with peaks of intensity and noticeable disappearances. This chapter sets a broad context for the aversive affects of pain, to examine the role of a diverse set of media technologies and practices in establishing vectors of perception and affect between the zones of combat and the ‘home front’.

By way of conclusion, as Judith Butler points out, in the complex ecology of networked media, the image ‘is nearly impossible to control by virtue of the contemporary forms of its reproducibility and circlability’ (Butler, 2010, p. xiv). Even if ‘this uncontrollability is not a sufficient basis for utopian excitement’ (xiv), there is intensity derived from the mode of distribution and the context of reception. But in the cinema and literature of combat, the posting of soldier’s combat photos and films, and in the circulation of insurgents’ videos of beheadings, there is a clear impulse to produce, and an implicit and generalised understanding of the affective and intensifying force of the pain image, the sensation, as it traverses different media and aesthetic modes.

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