To Mourn, To Re-imagine Without Oneself: Death, Dying, and Social Media/tion

Stuart J Murray, Deborah Lynn Steinberg


This paper incorporates and reflects on Steinberg’s particular vantage as a dying person whose blog engages the transforming ecologies of mourning and the place(s) of dying in the emergent spaces of social media. The paper hones in on the distinction between the repudiation of death and the repudiation of mourning in the collective project of “re-imagining without oneself,†that is, of re-imagining another life, another death, beyond the liberal coordinates of a “you†and a “me.†As an “intermediating†place, we argue that the blog serves as a virtual portal that both problematizes and (re)mediates the personal and the political. In so doing, the paper touches on key feminist political questions concerning bodily self-sovereignty; the broader racialized, classed, and gendered cultural imaginary; and the place of mourning in the analogy of the personal body in crisis with the myriad crises of the body politic at this significant and difficult cultural moment. Particularly, with the outcomes of Brexit and the Trump victory in the American election, this is a time of loss as the complex consensus of liberal democracy has broken down and neoliberal body-affective practices morph into isolationist nationalisms and the resurgence of movements against social justice and equality.


blogs; cancer; death; dying; mourning; repudiation; social media



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Stuart J. Murray, Deborah Lynn Steinberg


ISSN 2380-3312 | If you have questions about the site, including access difficulties due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please email editor at