The American Resting Place

CLAREMONT, California - October 22, 2008

Marilyn Yalom, senior scholar at Stanford University’s Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, will discuss her book, The American Resting Place: 400 Years of History through Our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds, on October 28 in Scripps College’s Hampton Room of the Malott Commons. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The American Resting Place is a sweeping history of America as seen through its gravestones, graveyards, and burial practices, stunningly illustrated with 80 black-and-white photographs. The mother-son team of Marilyn and Reid Yalom visited hundreds of cemeteries to create the book, following a coast-to-coast trajectory that mirrors the vast historical pattern of American migration.

Yalom’s incisive and poignant exploration of gravestone inscriptions reveal changing ideas about death and personal identity, and demonstrate how class and gender play out in stone. Rich particulars include the story of one 17th-century Bostonian who amassed a thousand pairs of gloves in his funeral-going lifetime, the unique burial rites and funerary symbols found in today’s Native American cultures, and a “lost” Czech community brought uncannily to life in Chicago’s Bohemian National Columbarium.

Yalom is a prolific author, and has penned numerous books, including A History of the Breast (1998), a cultural history of 25,000 years of ideas, images, and perceptions of the female breast in religion, psychology, politics, society, and the arts; A History of the Wife (2001), traces the institution of marriage and conceptions of “the wife” throughout history; The Chess Queen (2004), is an examination of the history of the chess queen, the only female playing piece, and the corresponding history of female power.

The Tuesday Noon Academy presents speakers from the Scripps faculty, visiting lecturers and scholars, students, staff, and Scripps alumnae, as well as a variety of guest presenters from the community. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase one at the Malott Commons dining hall. Dessert and coffee are provided. Doors to the Hampton Room open at 11:45 a.m.

For more information, contact the Malott Commons Office at (909) 607-9372.