Prince performs at the 10th Anniversary Essence Music Festival at the Superdome on July 2, 2004 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Philosophy of Posthumous Art

For some creators, death isn’t the end of their career. How should we think about completing and releasing their work afterward?
Clockwise: Kevin Young, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Alexander, Mary Jo Bang, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Jack Gilbert

10 Contemporary Elegies

In these poems of lament, the speaker expresses grief and sorrow.
Visitors walk past the entrance gate to the Auschwitz death camp, the most notorious of the many Nazi concentration camps

Does Dark Tourism Exploit Tragedy for Profit?

Thanatourism, as one scholar calls it, has a long history. And some historic sites of mass death do offer thoughtful educational experiences.
People visiting the morgue in Paris to view the cadavers

The Paris Morgue Provided Ghoulish Entertainment

With its huge windows framing the corpses on display, the morgue bore an uncomfortable resemblance to a department store.
Design for an Urn, 19th century

How Cremation Lost Its Stigma

The pro-cremation movement of the nineteenth century battled religious tradition, not to mention the specter of mass graves during epidemics.
The Premature Burial by Antoine Wiertz

The Fear of Being Buried Alive (and How to Prevent It)

Pliny the Elder remarked: “Such is the condition of humanity, and so uncertain is men’s judgment, that they cannot determine even death itself.”
The Dance of Death

A Roman Feast… of Death!

The banquet hall was painted black from ceiling to floor. By the pale flicker of grave lamps, the invited senators coud make out a row of tombstones.
Antechinus stuartii

Death and Mating

Semelparous organisms reproduce exactly once in a lifetime.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Giovanni_Aldini,_Essai...sur_le_galvanisme..._Wellcome_L0023892.jpg

Will Reanimating Dead Brains Inspire the Next Frankenstein?

In recent experiments, scientists brought back cellular functions to the brains of dead pigs, recalling early galvanism.
Paris catacombs

How the Paris Catacombs Solved a Cemetery Crisis

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Paris—the Catacombs—was started as a solution to the intrusion of death upon daily life.