Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Spirit of Mourning
History, Memory and the Body

$24.99 (G)

  • Date Published: November 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107648838

$ 24.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • How is the memory of traumatic events, such as genocide and torture, inscribed within human bodies? In this book, Paul Connerton discusses social and cultural memory by looking at the role of mourning in the production of histories and the reticence of silence across many different cultures. In particular he looks at how memory is conveyed in gesture, bodily posture, speech and the senses – and how bodily memory, in turn, becomes manifested in cultural objects such as tattoos, letters, buildings and public spaces. It is argued that memory is more cultural and collective than it is individual. This book will appeal to researchers and students in anthropology, linguistic anthropology, sociology, social psychology and philosophy.

    • Contains an exceptionally wide range of references to marginalised traditions in the West as well as to widely disparate specialist culture-areas outside the West
    • Carries forward the breakthroughs accomplished by Merleau-Ponty and Foucault by showing that the priority of the body occurs as memory
    • Written by an established Cambridge author who has written two other books on the theme of cultural memory
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    Advance Quote: "Drawing on a remarkable range of materials from many cultures and eras, Paul Connerton excavates with deft precision the bodily basis of history, memory, and mourning. Reading this book will change the way you view the trajectory of your life and that of others.” --Edward Casey, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at SUNY, Stony Brook

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107648838
    • length: 190 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.31kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The birth of histories from the spirit of mourning
    2. Seven types of forgetting
    3. Silences
    4. Spatial orientation
    5. Tradition as conversation and tradition as bodily re-enactment
    6. Tattoos, masks, skin
    7. Emphatic, mimetic and cosmic projection.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Anthropology of the Everyday and the Extraordinary
    • Evolutionary Perspectives on Emotion
    • Loss and Bereavement
    • Seminar: History and Memory
    • Social Organization
    • Studies in Latin American Culture
  • Author

    Paul Connerton, University of Cambridge
    Paul Connerton is a Research Associate in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Fellow in the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies at the University of London. His recent publications include How Modernity Forgets (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.