Death in th Western Culture
Death is an event that at the same time belongs to the natural order of things and that stands at the very core of every human culture, insofar as the first burial sites of the homo sapiens can be considered the proof of the existence of social organization. The course follows the development of different approaches towards death in European history from the end of the Roman Empire to contemporary times, through the analysis of textual and iconographic evidence provided by Western literature and arts. History of death since the seminal works by Philippe Aries, Edgar Morin and Michel Foucault in the seventies of last century has become in recent years a field where a complex theoretical discourse has developed, drawing from psychoanalysis as well as from sociology, from anthropology as well as from philosophy. In particular we will deal with the evolution of some tropes and symbols related to death in Western culture in the last two millennia such as the Totentanz, the maiden and the death, the memento mori and others.