Atlas Obscura: Ask a Cemeterian: The Business of Burials With Dr. Elise M. Ciregna
Cemeteries are, for many of us, sites of mystery, grounds belonging to those who lived in the past. In this course led by historian Dr. Elise M. Ciregna, we’ll demystify these American landscapes of death, exploring their role as vital, evolving, and organic spaces that have historically and contemporarily been important places for the living. Together, we’ll look at burial grounds throughout history, landing on the business structure and regulations of modern cemeteries. We’ll then turn our attention to a range of burial practices and customs, from post-mortem photography to cast iron grave covers, and explore the cemetery as a public space—as well as possibilities for community engagement. Along the way, we’ll ask questions like: How do cemeteries work? What do you need to know when you need a cemetery? How can we engage with cemeteries as places for the living?