Carleton to Host Historian Thomas Laqueur for Lecture on the Cultural History of Caring for the Dead Body

Carleton University will host the lecture A Cultural History of Caring for the Dead Body by celebrated historian Thomas Laqueur. The event is part of the Shannon Lecture Series and is sponsored by the Department of History.

When: Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Room 282, University Centre, Carleton University
Info: This event is free and open to the public. The lecture will be followed by a reception in the History Lounge, Room 433, Paterson Hall, at 4 p.m.

Proponents of cremation in the late 19th century viewed burning the dead in high technology ovens borrowed from the steel industry as a great step forward for civilization. In this lecture, Laqueur will discuss why they thought this was the case and why the materialist view of the body that they advocated had relatively little support even among the cultural radicals who embraced cremation. It will look at one particular instance of medical advocacy as a utopian project to rid the dead of their history.

About Thomas Laqueur

Laqueur is the Helen Fawcett Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. His most recent academic work has culminated in his book The Work of the Dead, which recently won the Cundill Prize, the 2016 PROSE Award in European & World History (Association of American Publishers) and the 2016 Gold Medal in World History (Independent Publisher Book Awards).