‘Global Celebrations of Living and Dying’ program set for Oct. 31, Nov. 3

"Day of the Dead" celebration in southern Mexico.

“Day of the Dead” celebration in southern Mexico.

A program focusing on “Global Celebrations of Living and Dying” will be held on the Western Carolina University campus over two evenings, Monday, Oct. 31, and Thursday, Nov. 3, with presentations on diverse aspects of life and death as seen from biological, philosophical, religious and cultural viewpoints.

The program is presented by the WCU’s Department of World Languages, Biology Program and Department of Philosophy and Religion along with Harris LifePath Palliative Care and Hospice in Sylva.

“We all deal with life and death, and it is important to know that we are not alone,” said Garrett Fisher, an event organizer with the Department of World Languages. “The purpose of this initiative is to support students, faculty and the community on the topics of living and dying while offering diverse global perspectives through interdepartmental collaboration.”

The Oct. 31 (Halloween) session is “Life, Death and Metamorphosis on a Little-Known Planet” by Kefyn Catley, associate professor of biology, and a showing of the documentary “Flight of the Butterflies” beginning 6 p.m. at the A.K. Hinds University Center theater.

The Nov. 3 sessions, to be held in Illusions at A.K. Hinds University Center, are:

  • “Death Cafe,” an opportunity to learn about resources for dealing with death, presented by Harris LifePath Palliative Care and Hospice, with coffee and desserts, beginning 6 p.m.
  • “Representations of Death in Spanish Literature and Art,” a presentation in Spanish by Santiago Garcia-Castanon, WCU professor of Spanish, beginning at 7 p.m.
  • “Day of the Dead,” about the Mexican holiday to honor loved ones who have died, presented by Garrett Fisher, instructor of Spanish, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
  • “Buddhist Perspectives on Living and Dying,” examining the Buddhist idea of the impermanence, by Michelle Sorenson, assistant professor of philosophy and religion, beginning at 8 p.m.
  • “Faith, Even in Death: Muslim Traditions at the End of Life,” exploring Muslim traditions regarding death, presented by Colin Shaw, a Hospice chaplain, beginning at 8:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Fisher at gdfisher@wcu.edu.