1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Singular-Particulars: Some Reflections on the Excessiveness of Death, Mourning, and Loss

Drawing upon phenomenological insights into the ways that phenomena disclose, indicate, or conceal themselves given the particular conditions in which they are situated and the distinctive modes of access that we may have to them, this talk will sketch the ethical and ontological entailments that afford access to what I term a “singular-particular.” While most modes of particularity inhabiting ethnographic work can be understood as typified particulars, that is as particulars that disclose something of the recurrent and typified ways that particular individuals or groups go about navigating their distinctive worlds, a “singular-particular” makes visible the non-substitutable excess that shines through distinctive events, situations, interactions, and happenings. To this end, the specific existential situations that I will examine in the talk are ones where singular-particulars often shine through with a special prominence -- the existential situations of death, loss, and mourning for a lost loved one.

Professor Throop’s interests are situated at the intersection of medical and psychological anthropology. His contributions to these fields span a spectrum of theoretical and practical concerns, including: empathy and intersubjectivity; investigations into the problems of experience in contemporary anthropological theory; explorations of the cultural patterning of pain, sensation, emotion, and mood; analyses of social suffering and illness experience; studies of agency and will in cultural context; as well as ongoing research on the existential and cultural processes underlying the formation of ethical modes of being. His regional specialization is Oceania, where he has conducted over 19 months of research on experiences of pain, suffering, illness, and morality on the island of Yap (Waqab), Federated States of Micronesia.

co-Sponsored by Bioethics Program
Location: Brooks Hall Commons
Reception to Follow

Event Date: 
Friday, 9 February 2018 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
C. Jason Throop
Speaker Title: 
Professor and Department Chair, UCLA, Department of Anthropology