The Work of the Day of the Dead

Thomas Laqueur

November 1, 2016

The Work of the Day of the Dead

Event Description

In his latest book, The Work of the Dead, Berkeley historian Thomas Laqueur chronicles the history of humanity’s treatment of the dead. As CLAS celebrates the Day of the Dead, Professor Laqueur will discuss why we care for dead bodies and why ghosts are such a persistent part of human cultures.


Thomas Laqueur is the Helen Fawcett Professor of History at UC Berkeley. Born in Istanbul, raised in West Virginia, and a graduate of Swarthmore and Princeton, his work has focused on the history of popular religion and literacy, as well as the body, death, and memory. Recipient of numerous honors, Professor Laqueur used funds from his Mellon Distinguished Humanist Award to found ongoing programs in religion, human rights, and science studies at Berkeley.