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Digging Up the DeadA History of Notable American Reburials$
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Michael Kammen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226423296

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226423326.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Digging Up the Dead
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226423326.003.0001

Historically, reburial has been associated with a figurative form of resurrection—primarily the resurrection of reputation. With the passage of time, reburial has taken on a new meaning: renewed honor and often some form of reconciliation, or at least movement in the direction of reconciliation. This book is about the cultural politics of exhumation, focusing on the complexity of repatriation, a revived reverence for reputation, and the resolution of differences. Pride is at stake in burials and reburials, whether it is national pride, sectional pride, state pride, regional pride, family pride, patriotic pride, ethnic and racial pride, pride of place, or pride of possession. The compelling need to move the remains of the dead is more than symbolic; it has social, cultural, and political implications—often in varied combinations.

Keywords:   reburial, resurrection, reputation, pride, cultural politics, exhumation, repatriation, burials

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