Though we are sad to bid farewell to “Our American Discourse,” we welcome the opportunity to talk about farewells—indeed, the hardest farewells of all: those that happen after death. How do we say goodbye to the past? And what does our farewell mean for the lives gone before us and for the future that will come after them? It is time to break the “death taboo” and have one last real conversation about the one last real experience we all must confront.
In this episode, David Charles Sloane tells the history of the American cemetery, and in that story, we find the evolution of our own existential approach to life, death, and beyond.
Prof. Sloane is a Professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, where he also facilitates the Borthwick George Washington Lecture Series. He is the author of several books, including the newest Is the Cemetery Dead?, which was released just in April by the University of Chicago Press.
To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, Google Play, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”
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“Memory and Landscape: Nature and the History of the American Cemetery” by David Charles Sloane
“Roadside Shrines and Granite Sketches: Diversifying the Vernacular Landscape of Memory” by David Charles Sloane
The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History by David Charles Sloane
Planning Los Angeles edited by David C. Sloane