Posted March 14, 2017
Dina Khapaeva, Professor of Russian at the School of Modern Languages, recently authored a new book entitled The Celebration of Death in Contemporary Culture (University of Michigan Press, 2017). The book investigates the cult of death, a unique way of engaging with death that crystallized in Western culture around the mid-1990s.
Over the last three decades, Halloween has grown to rival Christmas in popularity and dark tourism has emerged as a rapidly expanding industry. "Corpse chic" and "skull style" have joined mainstream fashion trends, while gothic, horror, torture porn, and slasher movies have streamed into conventional genres. Vampires, zombies, cannibals, and serial killers now appeal broadly to audiences of all ages. The Celebration of Death in Contemporary Culture considers, for the first time, these phenomena as aspects of a single movement, documenting its development in contemporary Western culture. The book offers a framework that connects the observations of the world of fiction and movies—including Twilight Saga, The Vampire Diaries, Night Watch, Hannibal, and the Harry Potter series—to current social and cultural practices.
This book will appeal not only to students in cultural studies, film and literary studies, anthropology, and American and Russian studies, but also to a general public hoping to better understand a defining phenomenon of our age.
To purchase or find more information about this book, please visit: https://www.press.umich.edu/9297025/celebration_of_death_in_contemporary_culture