The emerging practices of the collective afterlife: multimodal analysis of websites for post-mortem digital interaction

Paula Kiel


This project offers to deploy Scheffler’s notion of the collective afterlife in order to conceptualize and explore newly emerging websites enabling the planning and preparing of post-mortem online interactions. This paper presents an analytical framework for conducting multimodal analysis of websites as units of analysis adapted from Pauwels’s six-step framework for multimodal analysis. A functional typology of websites of post-mortem digital interaction is presented and the framework for analysis is then exemplified through the analysis of 6 websites dedicated to enabling post-mortem digital interaction. This paper presents the cultural specificities in which individuals are invited to imagine and personalize their futures after their own death, and discusses the incorporation of varying temporalities into communicative events.


multimodal analysis, website analysis, collective afterlife, death

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