Academic obituaries are a fascinating and yet understudied genre. The project demonstrates that obituaries do more than just remember dead professors. Obituaries are a site where lifetime achievements are evaluated, where biographical artifacts are produced and consecrated, and where subjectivity is constituted.
The project draws on a sample of 216 obituaries published in academic journals from the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, in physics, history, and sociology, and from the 1960s to the 2000s.
The project was supported by a Feodor Lynen Postdoctoral Research Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.