Course description

Grief is ubiquitous. At some point in our lives, each of us will grieve, yet it can be a taboo topic. This course provides an overview of the major theories, modern research, and current issues for understanding the phenomenon of grief. We examine psychological as well as anthropological and sociological research articles so we can better address questions such as, what is grief? Why do we grieve? Did Neanderthals grieve? Is grieving over the death of pets a new phenomenon? Is there more than one normal pattern of recovery? Are there effective treatments for people with complicated grief? What are some of the grieving practices of people in different cultures? At different times in history? Is it possible to have a meaningful and worthwhile life, despite grief? What does it mean to be resilient? We read and discuss a fascinating set of materials, enriching our knowledge and understanding of this important, universal topic.

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