Over My Dead Body: Unearthing the Hidden History of America’s Cemeteries

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Duration 01:03:07

U.S. Naval Academy

Greg Melville taught English at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was the lone recipient of the school’s Apgar Award for Teaching Excellence in 2019. An author and journalist, Melville’s writing has appeared in top publications including Men’s Health, National Geographic Traveler, and The New York Times. He is the author of the acclaimed environmental book Greasy Rider, as well as his most recent work Over My Dead Body: Unearthing the Hidden History of America’s Cemeteries.



Cemeteries offer an unfiltered perspective on American history, regarding race, religion, art, economics, public health, war, culture, and pop culture. But in many respects, they’re dying — due to the rise of cremations, demand for space, lack of resources, and even erasure. This course will take students on a through-the-centuries tour of American burial grounds, from Jamestown in Virginia to the future, infinite realm of digital immortality.




6 reviews
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Raul Caceres

Over my dead body

Great talk.

1 year ago
barbara ann.fields


At my age,this talk has helped me in deciding how I want to be *buried”. It is interesting to note that racism and prejudice against the poor goes all the way to the grave.
I have visited a cemetery for an artist field trip and it to be a beautiful and inspiring place

1 year ago


Greg Melville did a great presentation with information not well know or understood. Thank you for the opportunity to hear this

1 year ago

Interesting talk, but very America-centric

I enjoyed the lecture, there was a lot about California cemeteries I didn’t know before, but there was little or no historical context on a worldwide basis.

1 year ago

Choppy delivery

Interesting information that I would have rather read myself.

11 months ago
Marcos Valcarcel

History of Cementeries.Video

Mr Greg Mellville made a excelent presentation and show a good aknolege of the history of the transition of the cementeries

10 months ago

Good but more would be better

The author is obviously an authoritative source of information on a subject many of us have wondered about but never explored. There’s almost too much knowledge in this presentation, in fact; a two- or three-part series might have been better because not everyone has the time these days to sit down and read an entire book. The writer’s references to the “death industry”, in particular, are intriguing and beg for more discussion. I’d like to see One Day University and the author revisit the entire subject in an expanded format, focused, detailed and better organized.

6 months ago
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