final paper

For this project, you are to use Online searches to virtually “visit” two sites of death. These sites can be of the same religion, different religion, or different group within a religion. The purpose of these visits is to gain a visceral insight into the lived experience of body enshrinement, mourning, disposal, memorials to, and interment of the deceased. Your primary goal is to observe and think holistically about what these sacred spaces tells you about life and death – think about variations in life-styles, stages (age), class, gender, belief, values, health, architecture, space used, generations, culture, and religions. What similarities and differences do you see? For example: try to find catacombs, charnel houses, burial pits (plague), cemeteries, chapels, public memorials, gravesites, family burial plots, mausoleums, war sites, road side shrines, crematoriums, death camps, etc… Also look for sections at the area you have chosen (i.e. observe segmentation, separation, segregation, etc…). If your site is a cemeteries, mausoleum, or crematorium, you can email them about all their services. Many war memorials, war sites (like battlefields or Hiroshima, or the camps from WWII) have websites that contain valuable information.

Please download images or screen shot your two sites – documenting your experiences, recording your thoughts and feelings.

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At your two virtual sites:

1) Spend some time virtually exploring each site, as you observe, note, and experience the landscape that separates or ensnares death. If we are allowed to physically visit places and you chose to, I recommend you go with someone else (a classmate, friend).

2) Get images of what you’re observing, of your chosen site / plot / gravestone (you’ll include some of these in your paper as an appendix) If you actually go somewhere, avoid taking pictures of human subjects, who are probably at these sites to mourn a loved one.

3) Closely observe – are there writings, markings, strange signage, memorabilia, signs of mourning, signs that someone recently visited?

4)Look at the architecture / art present, note importance, then you can research meaning later

5)Are the grounds well – kept, is the site worn / deteriorated

6)Is there any sign of national origin / ethnicity

7) Look for special markers that indicate HOW a person may have died

8) Note anything that surprises you / you don’t understand

9)Jot down notes to yourself – your thoughts and feelings –so you will clearly remember why you took them and what intrigued you (and you will already have some of your assignment complete)

THEN

1) Introduce the two chosen sites and elucidate a thesis from your observations. How do the sites speak to each other? How can they be spoken of together to inform how we think about and confront death?

2) Analyze the possible meaning surrounding your two sites based on what you read in our class readings, articles, etc… by using at least 3 citations from our course readings or other readings you have found to analyze the sites and possible implications for society. No encyclopedias please. Use APA, MLA, Chicago style…

3) Compare the two sites. Why you did specifically choose these two sites? Is there a drastic difference between them? Is one public and one private? How are kept? Who is buried, who is remembered, and who is left to history? What does our way of remembrance / commemoration / mourning say about our society / people?

Embed or attach your images. This will allow me to see what you are seeing leading to your inferences.
For those doing a podcast or video, you still need to credit all your sources. I will provide accebcqss to podcast training if needed.

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