The Living and the Dead

Toby Austin Locke


The Living and the Dead examines the complex barriers and boundaries between the worlds of life and death. The book draws upon philosophy, ethnography, literature and natural science in order to suggest that rather than being seen as opposing terms, life and death are better understood as continuous tendencies acting upon one another in a relationship where neither can be seen as passive. Arguing that the failure to think the relationship between that which is living and that which is not leads to situations where both life and death are degraded, The Living and the Dead, proposes that to confront the challenges of our times—the dominance of economism, the ecological crisis, technological advancement—we need to develop a more nuanced, complex, and fluid understand of the relationships between life and death.

Toby Austin Locke is a research student in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths College where his current project focuses on practice-based approaches to commoning. He has written and edited a number of print and digital publications in a range of styles, most recently contributing to Through Europe ( and acting as a contributing editor to the Society for Cultural Anthropology.

The Living and the Dead will be published in October 2016. Pre-order now: Amazon UK/ Amazon US/ B&N/ IndieBound/ Powell’s

On sale: October 2016
PB ISBN: 9781910924327 (£10.40 UK/ $14.95 US/ $15.95 CAN)
eBook ISBN: 9781910924334 (£6.50 UK/ $8.99 US/ $9.95 CAN)