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death scholar [děth·skŏl'ǝr] n. — specialist devoted to the investigation of mortuary customs, practices, and beliefs.


Selected Media

Selected Interviews
Selected Articles
Webinars & Films
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What Should We Do With the Online Profiles of the Deceased?

Science Friday

What happens to your social media accounts when you die? Dr. Cann explores the complicated issues surrounding the online personal data of the deceased.

From Diamonds to Rockets, Mourning the Dead Has Gotten High Tech

National Geographic

​From diamonds to trees, Dr. Cann discusses how new options for preserving a loved one's remains carry on an ancient tradition of mourning.

"Nadie merece morir solo”. Estas mujeres acompañan hasta el último aliento y la pandemia ha hecho más visible su labor.


In this article, Dr. Cann offers her expertise in the subjects of death and dying to explain the benefits of having a death doula and offers commentary on the effectiveness of Latin American customs for the process of bereavement.

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Raw Grief

The Food Chain, BBC

In the latter half of this study on food and death, Dr. Cann describes a number of traditions across cultures that reflect a continuing relationship with the dead.

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Tech Changes the Face of Death

Science Friday

Dr. Cann chats about how social media and other digital platforms are helping people memorialize the dead.

How the Oscar-winning ‘Coco’ and its fantastical afterlife forced us to talk about death.

The Washington Post

Dr. Cann speaks with WaPo religion reporter Michelle Boorstein about the recent Pixar film Coco.

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Virtual Afterlives Book Discussion

C-Span American History TV

Dr. Candi K. Cann talks about her book, Virtual Afterlives as part of C-Span's American History TV (AHTV). Dr. Cann discusses how the rituals of death and grieving have changed throughout the past millennium.

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How Technology is Changing the Way We Grieve

Financial Times

Dr. Cann shares with FT Work and Careers writer Emma Jacobs about grieving in the age of technology.

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The Mobility Of Modern Memorials

Academic Minute, WAMC

Dr. Candi Cann sits down with WAMC's Bradley Cornelius to explore the rising popularity of alternative memorials to the dead.

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Burying Your Dead Without Religion

The Atlantic

The proportion of Americans who don't identify with a specific faith is growing. What does this mean for the future of funeral rites? Dr. Candi K. Cann sits down with The Atlantic to explore how we process death and loss in increasingly non-religious ways.

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Trans-Atlantic Death Methods


The different countries that death and dying researchers reside within often shape not only research agendas but also research methodologies.

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Mothers and Spirits


Mothers and Spirits examines the intersection of women, alcohol, and death through a comparative analysis.

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Contemporary Hispanic American Death Practices


This article is an initial review of the everyday death and bereavement practices of the United States Latina/o community, and serves as an initial corrective to the traditional studies of American death from a largely Anglo and Protestant perspective.

Three Zombies
Zombies, Vampires, Martyrs & Saints

Halloween is just around the corner, and lots of zombies and vampires will be trick-or-treating this year. In fact, companies like Spirit Halloween are seeing more orders for zombie and vampire costumes than ever before...

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The Death of Thanksgiving

This year the newspapers are full of the news that Thanksgiving is dead — and it is dead in ways both good and bad. The holiday that Thanksgiving used to represent has come under criticism...

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Grief Online: The Dos and Don’ts of Internet Etiquette

Everyone seems to be online these days, and even if you are not on much, odds are that you have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram account. With so much of our socializing done virtually, it is no surprise that we are grieving and mourning the deaths of others, everyone has an opinion of how we should do that. Dr. Cann outlines the current etiquette on social media.

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Letting Someone You Love Die: The Irony Behind a Living Will

Living wills allow the dying to have control over their last days. But do they make it easier for the family to make decisions?

Digital Death Conversations BBC
BBC World Service: Exploring Digital Death

BBC World Service

Digital Planet explores digital death and how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to update our death rituals and move most of our grieving online.

Collective Grief and the Employee Experience

SAP Purpose Network Live

In this digital conversation, Dr. Cann speaks about grieving in today's unusual context. She discusses collective grieving, modern grief theory, grief's intersection with the workplace, and how we can respond to grief in ourselves and with each other.

Grieving in the age of Technology
Grieving in the Age of Technology


Dr. Candi Cann joins cremation diamond company Eterneva to talk about the collective and anticipatory grief we are all feeling, and how we can use a moment like the pandemic to better understand our ancestors.

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2020 Compassion in Action Webinar Series

The Schwartz Center

COVID has upended the ways in which we understand what it means to grieve and to mourn. During this webinar, we invited participants to join us in reflecting on our experiences of grief, loss and mourning in the time of COVID.

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2020 Compassion in Action Webinar Series

The Dilemma Podcast

Are virtual worlds any different than real worlds? A mother is reunited with her deceased daughter in virtual reality for a South Korean TV show. Jay Shapiro speaks with Associate Professor and author Candi Cann about the ways in which technology is intersecting with death and grief rituals.

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Two Perspectives: Assisted Dying or Assisted Living?

It's hard when someone is medically assisted to keep living. Are we keeping them alive, or prolonging their death and making it more difficult to say goodbye?

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Responding Theologically to Contemporary Mourning

Cosmologics Magazine

Stories keep the dead in our lives, help make sense of their deaths, and communicate our losses to others. Narratives order lives in a timeline that we can recount and to which we can give meaning.

A Good Goodbye

From Patheos, this film highlights the importance of grieving and accepting death. Dr. Cann discusses the value of death and grief in various religions around the world.

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To The Best of Our Knowledge: Five-Part Series on Death

Public Radio International

What is death, and how do we make sense of it? Dr. Candi K. Cann contributes to this five-part Public Radio International series as part of their Resources on Digital Legacies.

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Dining with the Dead


Food is a fundamental part of life’s biggest celebrations, from birthdays and weddings to religious feasts. It’s also a key part of death. Dr. Candi K. Cann features in this BBC "Food Chain" special exploring how saying farewell to the departed has inspired centuries of food tradition, from corpse cakes and sin-eating in medieval Europe, to the pan de muertos and sugar skulls of Mexico's Day of the Dead.


Photo Credit:

Frank Wojciechowski

Candi received her Ph.D. and A.M. from Harvard University following an M.A. from the University of Hawaii. She currently serves as an Associate Professor at Baylor University and her research focuses on death, dying, and grief. She is especially interested in the intersections of marginality, diversity, and death technologies, and loves to talk all things death. She is a 2022-23 Fulbright Scholar, examining death and religious pluralism in South Korea.


When she is not examining issues surrounding death, she focuses on living well, and is an avid reader, sometimes surfer, and coffee drinker.

You can subscribe to my mailing list here:


Keynotes & Courses

As a scholar and public intellectual, Dr. Candi Cann regularly delivers keynote addresses and public lectures across the nation. From community centers to universities and academic societies, her dynamic presentations educate the public and inspire cross-cultural engagement with regards to death and grief. Dr. Cann speaks on a variety of topics, interweaving historical context with modern social and cultural relevance. In addition to speaking on the topics of her many books, Dr. Cann has spoken on comparative and world religions, bereavement and grief, modern burial customs, afterlife beliefs, and modern practices for remembering the departed.

Dr Cann offers:


Keynote Addresses for conferences, conventions, and colleges seeking to have an internationally recognized scholar speak on the latest research on bereavement and mortuary beliefs, customs, and rituals.

Workshops for working professions seeking training on how to incorporate a respect and appreciation for the world's grieving rituals into their profession.

Community Lectures for public audiences who want to learn more about how the reflections on human mortality in the world's cultures shape self-understanding and identity construction.

Past Speeches

Invited Plenary for Centre for Death and Society’s "The Politics of Death" June 2018

Canyon Ranch

University of Florida, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere

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