This event is the inaugural Annual Humanities Lecture, co-sponsored by Princeton University Press, the College for the Arts and Sciences at NYU, and the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU. Thomas Laqueur, the Helen Fawcett Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, will talk about his forthcoming book, The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains. His lecture will speak to compelling questions: Why do we as a species care for the bodies of our dead? What work do the dead do for the living? How do specific ways of disposing the dead and specific memorial practices create communities, nations, and culture more generally?