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Welcome to the Department of History

About Us

The History Department at Queen's University is dedicated to providing a rigourous and engaging seminar-based undergraduate education, top-flight training of MA and PhD students, and innovative, high-quality, wide-ranging research. We are a medium-sized department; small enough to preserve a sense of community, but large enough to offer a comprehensive range of graduate and undergraduate courses.


2015 History Department Nugent Lecture

October 1st, 5:30 p.m.

Thomas Laqueur, Helen Fawcett Professor of History at U.C. Berkeley (http://history.berkeley.edu/people/thomas-w-laqueur)

Title "Why We Care About the Dead"

The University Club (George Teves Room)

Reception to Follow

Professor Laqueur will speak about his forthcoming book, The Work of the Dead (http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10535.html). From the publisher's web-site: "The Greek philosopher Diogenes said that when he died his body should be tossed over the city walls for beasts to scavenge. Why should he or anyone else care what became of his corpse? In The Work of the Dead, acclaimed cultural historian Thomas Laqueur examines why humanity has universally rejected Diogenes’s argument. No culture has been indifferent to mortal remains. Even in our supposedly disenchanted scientific age, the dead body still matters—for individuals, communities, and nations. A remarkably ambitious history, The Work of the Dead offers a compelling and richly detailed account of how and why the living have cared for the dead, from antiquity to the twentieth century." The talk will address the book's central questions through an examination of specific historical changes such as the advent of the modern cemetery or the rise of cremation in the 1870's.

Professor Laqueur is the Helen Fawcett Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley.