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An elaborate pet dog memorial
An elaborate pet dog memorial

Press Release - 08 October 2008

Dog gone: public lecture to explore dead pets in cyberspace

Local people are invited to a free seminar exploring the memorialising of domestic pets on the internet, at the University of Bath on Thursday 9 October 2008 at 5.15pm (3 East, 2.20).

The seminar, titled Dead Dogs in Cyberspace: Time, Emotion and the Memorialising of Domestic Pets, will compare and analyse over 400 tributes to deceased dogs posted on both English and French websites.

The lecture will show that pets can be an incarnation of concepts such as beauty, love, happiness, goodness, temporality and togetherness, which can transcend death, with many similar examples cited from French and English online memorials.

“The notion of the afterlife is what makes it possible for the relationship to continue after death and to thus imagine that loving relationships do not really come to an end,” explains Peter Corrigan, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of New England, Australia.

The dog continues to be memorable even though the owner is alive and the dog dead.

“The idea of an afterlife may also help owners to remember the dog in this life. The logic here would seem to be that if we can recall the dead dog to memory, it must surely still exist.”

Professor Corrigan holds a PhD from the University of Dublin and is an editor of the Journal of Sociology. He is author of several books on various aspects of death and dying.

Admission for the lecture is free; please contact CDAS if you would like to attend. Free parking is available in the West Car Park. The lecture runs from 5.15pm – 6.15pm in the lecture hall 3 East 2.20 on the Claverton campus.

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