Death and Digital Media book launch

An interdisciplinary book about how our online lives affect death, grieving, memorialisation, and even afterlife has been launched at Readings Carlton. Four of the five co-authors were in attendance, interacting with an enthusiastic packed out event and signing books.

Death and Digital Media provides a critical overview of how people mourne, commemorate, and interact with the dead through digital media. It maps the historical and shifting landscape of digital death, considering a wide range of social, commercial, and institutional responses to technological innovations.

The authors examine multiple digital platforms and offer a series of case studies from North America, Europe and Australia. The book delivers fresh insight and analysis from an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies, human-computer interaction, and media studies.

Co-author Michal Arnold delivered a warm and humourous talk on the interdisciplinary writing process at the launch.

"You must shed the purity of your discipline and find a common voice," he said.

Arnold highlighted how the varied areas of interest amongst the authors led to varied research approaches and much rigorous debate, but never really disagreements just a search for commonality.

Having seed funded the project titled Death, Grieving and Memorialisation in 2010 which then flourished with further funding, interest, and now this fascinating book - the Networked Society Institute is very proud to see how this project has grown. A testament to the values of seed funding and interdisciplinarity.

Death and Digital Media is key reading for students and scholars across disciplines as well as for professionals working in bereavement support capacities. It's also of interest to anyone who has mourned, anyone who has loved ones pass on, or anyone who expects they will die one day. If this sounds like you, grab a copy of Death and Digital Media from Readings or online at Routledge.

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Kate Murray