….  the cemetery is indeed a highly heterotopian place (Foucault)


1. In this brief essay, I start to look at the cemetery as an example of, in Foucault’s words, a ‘highly heterotopian place’ of the imagination.

Download pdf: The Cemetery – a highly heterotopian space


2. In this published article, I look at the birth of the  modern cemetery in nineteenth century England with particular refrence to the work of John Claudius Loudon.

Johnson, P. (2008) ‘The Modern Cemetery: a design for life’, Social and Cultural Geography, 9 (7) 777-790.


3. Articles that relate heterotopia to deathscapes:

Clements, P. (2017) ‘Highgate Cemetery Heterotopia: A Creative Counterpublic Space’ Space and Culture 20 (4) 470-484

Damjanov, K. (2013) ‘Lunar Cemetery: Global Heterotopia and the Bio-politics of Death’ Leonardo 46: 2 159-162

 De Boeck, F. (2008) ‘Dead society in a cemetery city: the transformation of burial rites in Kinshasa in M. Dehaene and L. De Cauter (eds.), Heterotopia and the City, London and New York: Routledge.

Green, D. (2001-2002) ‘Death, Nature, and Uncertain Spaces: A Commentary From Paganism’ Omega: Journal of Death & Dying. 44:2 127+

Meyer, M and Woodthorpe, K. (2008) ‘The Material Presence of Absence: A DialogueBetween Museums and Cemeteries’, Sociological Research Online, 13: 5

Pugliese, J. (2009) ‘Crisis heterotopias and border zones of the deadJournal of Media & Cultural Studies 23 (5) 663-679.

Wright, E. A. (2005) ‘Rhetorical Spaces in Memorial Places: The Cemetery as a Rhetorical Space’ Rhetoric Society Quarterly. 35:4 51-81


4. Take a wonderful virtual tour:

Le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

5. The Cemetery Research Group

The Cemetery Research Group was established at the University of York in 1990. See: What makes a cemetery a cemetery? and useful bibliography.


6. A very comprehensive collection of studies available on-line:

The Archaeology of Death in Post-medieval Europe ed. Tarlow, Sarah (2015). Published by De Gruyter Open Access.

“This volume offers a range of case studies and reflections on aspects of death and burial in post-medieval Europe. Looking at burial goods, the spatial aspects of cemetery organisation and the way that the living interact with the dead, contributors who have worked on sites from Central, North and West Europe present some of their evidence and ideas”.


Revised July 2018

1 Comment

  1. Peter Johnson
    July 20, 2018 @ 12:51 pm

    Also recommended:

    Maddrell, A. and Sidaway, J. D. (eds.) (2010) Deathscapes: Spaces for Death, Dying, Mourning and Remembrance, Farnham, Hants: Ashgate.


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