Author Archives: Kristin Gupta

Kristin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Rice University, where she specializes in death and dying, queer theory, and medical anthropology. Her research focuses on shifting notions of life, death, and decay in American culture.
A photograph that shows a laptop and an altar on a counter. The laptop screen shows an image of burning candles. The altar includes a printed photo of the author who is a white woman with blue hair and in a pink dress standing in front of a brick wall. It also includes three crystals and a dried plant.

Living in a Time When “Death Feels Closer”

“I know I’m young, and dying isn’t something I’m ‘supposed’ to think about yet, but how can I not? Death feels like it is everywhere,” earnestly intoned Autumn, a twenty-five-year-old woman I met in late 2020. Autumn was a recent college graduate whose grandfather and roommate had both died during the vicious summer surge of Covid-19 in Los Angeles. The deep sense of loss she felt—not only from their deaths but also from the lack of national acknowledgment—had led her to seek out others whose lives had been touched by death. (read more...)