Changing of Appalachian Death Care Industry Amid Covid

Caitlyn B. Sheets (Western Kentucky University)

Caitlyn Sheets is an MA student in folk studies at Western Kentucky University, who will discuss her fieldwork with death industry professionals. Funerary traditions have drastically changed over the last 50 years with advances in technology, higher mobility of families, and shifts in religious communities. A recurring topic within Caitlyn’s interviews are additional changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic on both funerary processes and the grieving process. These professionals emphasize the stigma placed on their industry because of their work with the dead. They want the public to know that they do this work out of love for their communities.

Part of 05-07 In These Mountains: Stories of Fieldwork in Central Appalachia, Friday, October 14, 10:30 am–12:30 pm