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A History of Death

A History of Death


  • Wed 21 Oct, 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • Wed 28 Oct, 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • Wed 4 Nov, 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • Wed 11 Nov, 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • Wed 18 Nov, 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • Wed 25 Nov, 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • Wed 2 Dec, 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • Wed 9 Dec, 11:00am – 1:00pm
  • View all sessions


Artmakers Community Artists Trust, Cnr Ward St & Seddon Rd, Hamilton


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Waged (all 8 sessions): $104.00
  • Unwaged (students, seniors, unemployed) (8 sessions): $84.00
  • Buy Tickets



Sex used to be the great taboo. Up until the modern era, open talk related to the subject of sexuality was actively frowned upon. The subject of death, however was freely canvased. This situation has now been reversed. Death has become for modern men and women the new taboo, spoken of in hushed terms, if at all, kept concealed behind closed doors and largely unacknowledged.

However, recently this trend has been challenged. More and more people are wanting to speak openly about the subject of death. Indeed so pressing has become the need, that within the last few years a new ‘strange’ global phenomena has occurred that has seen the emergence of what are called “Death Cafes.”. These “cafes” are simply pop-up meeting places where small groups of people gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss the topic of death. Death has at last come out of the closet.

This series of 8 talks explores, historically, the subject of death from the perspective of several different disciplines: religion (both traditional and contemporary), philosophy, art, literature, music and film. At the end of each lecture, a set time will be given over to an “open mike” forum, where people will be able to discuss a singular more experiential death related topic.


•Week 1: Introduction. Overview and sociological perspective
• Week 2: Contemporary theological thought
•Week 3: Western Philosophical Traditions of Death
•Week 4: Art and Death
•Week 5: Literature and Death
•Week 6: Music and Death
•Week 7: Film and Death
•Week 8: Course Summary

COURSE DATES AND TIMES: “The History of Death” meets on Wednesdays from 11:00am-1:00pm. Our first class begins on Wednesday 21 October 2020 and runs for 8 consecutive weeks, ending on Wednesday 9 December 2020.

COST for all 8 sessions: Waged: $107; Unwaged: $86. Registering for one class registers you for all eight sessions.

COURSE LECTURER: Peter Dornauf (MA, Dip Tchg) has taught in secondary schools, Wintec and Waikato University collectively for over 25 years. He is a well know Waikato artist, art critic and a writer of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. His book “Days of Our Deaths” serves as the basis for this series of lectures.

COURSE LOCATION(S): Both in-person classes in Hamilton and on-line distance-learning options available for this course, allowing anyone in New Zealand to register. If the time doesn't suit, you also have the option to watch the video recorded sessions to learn at a more convenient time or study at your own pace.

FOR MORE INFO, including an in-depth Course Outline, visit our website at <>. For more info on our other courses, see <>.

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