Popular series "Graveyards 101" begins May 9

April 30, 2012

DEARBORN / April 30, 2012---University of Michigan-Dearborn again will offer “Graveyards 101,” a popular lecture series on graveyards, gravestones and images of death, last offered in 2010.

“The series was very popular with the public as well as with students,” said Ronald Stockton, professor, political science, who organized the series. “People say their view of society is transformed by this class. It gives a totally different way of looking at culture, history, art, religion, ethnicity. It answers questions you didn't know you had.”

All lectures will be held from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday from May 9 to June 6 in the Social Sciences Building, Room 1600, on the UM-Dearborn campus, located at 4901 Evergreen Rd. The series will conclude with a graveyard tour Saturday, June 9.

The lectures and tour are free and open to members of the community who can attend for “entertainment and education.” Enrolled students can receive one credit hour for attending the lectures and tour, completing readings and writing a paper for the course.

Stockton will speak on June 6 on "Gravestones Around the World." Other speakers are history professor Elaine Clark on "Death and Dying in Pre-Modern Europe" on May 9; humanities professor Randal Woodland on "The New Orleans Way of Death" on May 16; history professor Gerald Moran on “The Puritan Way of Death” on May 23; and Henry Ford Community College art history professor Hashim al-Tawil on "The Muslim Way of Death" on May 30.

Stockton first became interested in the topic when he surveyed a graveyard in southern Illinois where his relatives have been buried since the mid-1800s. In the process, he discovered some historically significant trends in the population in the region, and wrote a scholarly article called "Death on the Frontier."

Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, University of Michigan-Dearborn is a metropolitan university serving southeastern Michigan, committed to excellence rooted in strong academics, innovative research and programming and civic engagement. The University has nearly 8,900 students pursuing more than 100 bachelor's, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business and education.  A top-ranked university with a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of partnering with local leaders and communities, and is committed to finding solutions for the challenges that face the region.



Beth Marmarelli