Death Studies Scholar Khapaeva’s ‘Celebration of Death’ Gains New Notice

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By Michael Pearson

Professor Dina Khapaeva’s 2017 book The Celebration of Death in Contemporary Culture has been noted by a Russian-book writer for Forbes’ Russian-language edition as one of the country’s most anticipated books of 2020.

Forbes freelancer Natalya Lomykina included Khapeava’s book, newly translated into Russian, in her list for the Russian-language version of Forbes for its rigorous approach to the examination of society’s fascination with death. Khapaeva’s book has also been mentioned in several recent reviews or interviews in Russian media.

Khapaeva, a faculty member in the School of Modern Languages at the Georgia Institute of Technology and frequent commentator on Russian culture and politics, teaches Russian and specializes in death studies and Russian and American popular culture.

The Celebration of Death in Contemporary Culture investigates cultural fixations with monsters and how those attitudes shape cultural views towards humanity.

“I argue that the cult of death reinvents death as entertainment and results from a disillusionment with humanity that renders monsters attractive,” Khapaeva wrote in the introduction to the book. “The cult of death signifies a rejection of the idea of human exceptionalism and is grounded in a long-standing tradition of the critique of humanism.”

In 2019, Khapaeva edited and contributed to Man-Eating Monsters, which examines representations of humans as food sources in the modern imagination.

The School of Modern Languages is a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: mpearson34
  • Created: 01/30/2020
  • Modified By: mpearson34
  • Modified: 01/30/2020


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