Dr. Brenda Mathijssen: Review of Technologies of the Human Corpse by John Troyer

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review


John Troyer’s Technologies of the Human Corpse explores human relationships with dead bodies from nineteenth century embalming techniques to contemporary transhumanist ideals and tissue transactions. It is an extremely well written book that provides a historical overview as well as both a political and philosophical analysis of practices and attitudes surrounding the human corpse in the United States; a balanced combination that will offer many insights to death studies scholars and broader (non-academic) audiences. In addition to his excellent analytical discussion of corpse technologies, Troyer makes death personal. By sharing his own experiences of losing his sister and father, captured in poems that are placed as intermezzos between the chapters, he forces his readers to think about their own mortality and about the meanings, questions and struggles that death might produce.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-224
Number of pages2
JournalMortality: Promoting the interdisciplinary study of death and dying
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2020


  • death
  • dying
  • dead body
  • MIT Press
  • Technologies of the Human Corpse
  • book review
  • bioethics


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