Explores Cultural Rituals of Mourning
The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) 2021 Faculty Excellence Lecture Series, “Provocations,” will examine a portfolio of images surrounding cultural rituals for memorializing the dead and explore literary and historical refences to those ceremonies.
The April 15 “Provocations” event features CSM Communication, Arts and Humanities Professor George Bedell who will present “By Mourning Tongues.” Inspired while working on a project visually documenting the environmental challenges surrounding Mattawoman Creek in Charles County and the consequent theme of “death,” Bedell’s presentation deals with “images about death and our surrounding cultural rituals for memorializing the dead.”
Bedell shared that much of his work explores literary and historical references to rituals of memorialization that have inspired his portfolio of images. Drawing on funerary literary images such as Beowulf, Homer’s Iliad, and W. H. Auden’s remembrance of W. B. Yeats’s passing, Bedell underscores in a time of pandemic how “humans have tried to make peace with our impermanence through ritual and remembrance, and in the process, have created images and poems both sublime and enduring.” His presentation provides an opportunity to share reflections on the “visual meditations” on these images.