Life at the End of Life


Course Title

Life at the End of Life

Course Description

Adopting a highly multidisciplinary approach to the study of the end of life, this class combines the critical perspectives of medicine, bioethics, art history, visual culture, religious studies, philosophy, anthropology, and cultural studies. Some of the specific topics to be addressed include our current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic; the ethical choices and dilemmas associated with increased longevity and life-sustaining technologies; the needs and perspectives of the dying and their caregivers; the ethical responsibilities of the hospital as an institution, particularly in times of disaster; various cultural conceptions of “the good death”; historical, art historical, and technological representations of death and dying, monuments to the dead, and the personification of the figure of death itself; and near-death experiences and representations of the afterlife. This class will familiarize students with both the classic texts and the contemporary literature associated with the end of life. The course will also provide a rigorous comparative framework to consider how death practices are visualized and enacted in a wide variety of historical, cultural, social, technological, spiritual, aesthetic, and disciplinary contexts. Thus the goal of this course is to familiarize students with key themes and issues associated with death and dying.

Course Level

Instructor Name

Course Topics

Disciplinary Perspectives

Geographic Location

Houston, Texas

Instructional Modality

Institutional Location


Life at the End of Life