On June 16, 1883, 183 children were killed because of a human crush in Victoria Hall in Sunderland, UK.

Death by Crowding

In the aftermath of tragedies, it's easy to focus on the assignation of blame. But how well do we understand the causes of crushing crowds?
The New York American 1912 Headline for the sinking of the Titanic

Bodies of the Titanic: Found and Lost Again

Ideas about economic class informed decisions about which recovered bodies would be preserved for land burial and which would be returned to the icy seas.
Exhuming the remains of President Monroe in the Second Street Cemetery

Fighting Over the Dead

There was more than one violent altercation at the cemetery when one side of the family wanted to move a dead relative, and the other didn’t.
Women digging near damaged train tracks during the Battle of Stalingrad, USSR, during World War II.

Counting War’s Civilian Dead

Despite claims of precision strikes and the proliferation of smart bombs, the number of civilians killed in war appears staggeringly high.
A daguerreotype of a postmortem baby, partially covered by a flowered shawl

The History of Postmortem Photography

Ever since the medium was invented, people have used photography to document loss.
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.