Detail from “The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb” by Hans Holbein the Younger, 1520–22

chthonic, adj.

Pronunciation:  /ˈkθɒnɪk/
Etymology:  < Greek χθών, χθον-ός + -ic suffix.
a. Dwelling in or beneath the surface of the earth.

boom, n.

Pronunciation: /buːm/
Forms:  Also bomb(e).
a. A loud, deep sound with much resonance or humming effect, as of a distant cannon, a large bell, etc.

I’m Diana Samu-Visser. I’m currently a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Western University, where I received my MA in English. My honours undergraduate work was completed at the University of Calgary and Red Deer College.

This blog serves as a public forum and sounding board for investigating the corpse’s function as an archive and our attempts to render this archive legible. My current research examines the pervasive influence and changing role of anatomy in narrative medicine, aesthetics and visual culture, media, material culture, posthumanism, and necrophilosophy. Among the fundamental threads of this project are technologies of archivization, absent bodies and their material proxies, deathcare practices and memorialization, eroticism, the haptic, the corpse in systems of circulation, and the work of Jacques Derrida. My other interests include skin, isolation tanks, postmortem photography, plastination, gift economies, and death sentences.

In the past, I have also served as the managing editor of Word Hoard, Western’s interdisciplinary journal of the arts and humanities.

You can find my academic homepage, contact information, and curriculum vitae here.

The proprietrix, courtesy of Ruthless Images.

6 Responses to “About”

  1. Thank you so much for your eloquent, insightful and poignant post “How to Die” about David Bowie’s “Good Death”. Found it on Casandra’s FB site Death MidWifery in Canada and now will follow your blog. chthonicboom ~ fabulous name!!

  2. Wonderful post on David Bowie. Great example for people to see that quality of life is more important than quantity. Proper planning-considering, documenting and communicating instructions can allow us to live fully to the very end.

    • Exactly! And as frightening as it can be, the less alone we feel and the more it becomes normal to talk about it, the less frightened I hope we all become.

  3. I read your piece on Bowie in Western News and wanted to contact you, which is why I am writing this here on your blog. Last summer, Tom Murphy died, leaving behind his life-partner who also was in Sociology at Western, and still is, as far as I know. Tom’s final lecture is online, and I am sure you would be interested in seeing it.

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