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Report: 2012 Columbia University Seminar on Death
The Columbia University Seminar on Death
Third Biennial Austin H. Kutscher Memorial Conference
Faculty House, Columbia University, New York City, NY USA
March 24, 2012
By ASDS Regional Representative Professor George Dickinson
This conference on death and dying - held in memory of the late Austin H. Kutscher, a pioneer in thanatology in the US and a professor in the Dental College at Columbia University for many years - was entitled "Reshaping Our Journey to the End: Death, Dying and Bereavement in 21st Century America." Registration for the one-day conference totaled 85 individuals. Keynote speaker James W. Green, professor of anthropology at the University of Washington in Seattle, addressed the group on the subject "The Future of Death: Scenarios of Changing Metaphors and Changing Practices." Topics of the six sessions (total of 20 papers presented) were: Evolving Strategies-Dying in the 21st Century, Dying and Death in the Social and Medical System, Narratives in the Service of Death and Bereavement, New Directions in the Psychology of Death and Dying, Ethical Implications of Decision Making, and Corporeal Metamorphosis and Physical Imprints.
ABC-CLIO, Praeger Imprint has agreed to publish two volumes on the topic of the Conference, with the majority of chapters being versions of papers presented at the Conference. Margaret Souza, a member of the Seminar planning committee, along with fellow ASDS members Jim Green and George Dickinson, talked up ASDS at every opportunity and had handouts on the registration table regarding our organization. Time will tell if our efforts were worthwhile.