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Cross-Cultural Lament Traditions

Abstract

This course surveys lament traditions, broadly defined, across a range of cultures. In this course we will read a selection of ancient, medieval, and early modern lament; taking Greek lament traditions as our starting point, we will conclude by examining the role of modern social media in the expression and sharing of grief. The focus of the course will be the rich traditions of lament and elegy in medieval and early modern Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia.Topics to be considered include the relationship between gender and lament, the intersection of orality, performance, and literacy, the societal function and purpose of mourning rituals,restrictions on mourning, and the social role of the professional mourner in some cultures.While we will primarily be concerned with textual evidence, we will also listen to recordings of funeral laments, and consider the evidence for the modern decline of traditional mourning practices

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    Last time updated on 08/08/2016

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