Death at the Margins of the State


CDAS Conference 2017:
Death at the Margins of the State

09-10 June 2017

The Edge, University of Bath


Human beings typically grant appropriate death rites to those deemed members of the community; withholding of proper rites often reflects or symbolises exclusion from the political or moral community. The history of dissection, for example, bears witness to this.


Today, the concept of ‘human’ extends in theory to everyone regardless of nationality, gender, abilities, etc., yet in practice citizenship (legal or moral) may for many be precarious or lacking. The stateless and/or those lacking full citizen rights may include asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, those on the wrong side in civil wars, victims of genocide, prisoners, travellers, foetuses, and those deemed to lack mental capacity: their deaths may be endorsed, ignored, stigmatised, or manipulated by the state or powerful institutions. By contrast, those who die to create or defend the state become sacred heroes of the nation. Death and the state are intimately connected, each helping – through inclusion and exclusion – to define the other.

  • What deaths and whose deaths are denied respect?
  • How, why, and with what consequences for defining ‘us and them’, ‘human and non-human’?
  • How do those without citizenship die and how are they disposed of and mourned?
  • How do funerals mark lives deemed worthless?
  • How are marginalised deaths and the bodies of the marginalised dead exploited – by politicians, media, medicine, museums, and the global trade in body parts and ancient human remains?

Abstracts are invited for contemporary or historical papers from any discipline or profession exploring the relationship between death and exclusion from community or state. The conference will interest those in a wide range of fields, including, for example, death studies, politics, anthropology, history, archaeology, international relations, international development, refugee & migration studies, social policy, photography, cultural studies, psychology and funeral celebrancy.

CDAS annual conferences bring together research and knowledge that has hitherto been fragmented. We invite scholars and practitioners from around the world willing to engage openly with and learn from different disciplines and perspectives.

20 minute papers are invited – abstracts (up to 250 words) to be emailed to by 27 February 2017. Posters are also welcome, please send your abstract as above.


Further details about the conference and how to book will be made available in the New Year. Prices are likely to be £135 for 2 days and £75 for a single day, but this is subject to confirmation.


Conference updates will appear on the webpage:

Posted in Death Becomes Her (blog) | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commemorating Diasporic Death at Home and Abroad

Commemorating Diasporic Death at Home and Abroad

Edinburgh: 25 November 2016


Our eighth and final seminar in the series explores the way that Scottish migrant deaths were commemorated at home and abroad during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Comparison with other migrant groups will also be considered.

Date: 25 November 2016

Venue: National Museums Scotland





[Image taken from]

Posted in Death Becomes Her (blog) | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Life. Death. Whatever.

Life. Death. Whatever. is a month long reflection on life, death and everything in between at the National Trust’s Sutton House in London; a fantastic month-long line-up of great, thought-provoking events and exhibitions that I encourage you all to visit this month.



Sutton House & Breaker’s Yard
2 & 4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London, E9 6JQ
+ 44 (0)20 8986 2264

Sutton House is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12 – 5pm.
Standard National Trust admission fees apply.  National Trust members are free.
For more information on opening times and access, please see the National Trust’s website.


Posted in Death Becomes Her (blog) | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Acts of Remembrance

A one-off screening of Return of the Liberators, which documents an extraordinary road trip that took place in 2015: 96 London Black Cabs, 120 WWII Veterans on a road trip to the Netherlands.

This act of remembrance documented by visual anthropologist Janet Hodgson with the London Taxi Benevolent Association for the War Disabled will be screened at Kino-Teatr in St Leonards-on-Sea on Sunday 6th November. Book tickets here.


Posted in Death Becomes Her (blog) | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Skeletons, Stories and Social Bodies

Skeletons and Social Bodies

Skeletons, Stories and Social Bodies Conference

24th – 26th March 2017

University of Southampton

(The following was copied and pasted from the SSSB17 conference website)
SSSB is an interdisciplinary conference, and therefore we invite abstracts which cover a range of aspects of death and anatomy. We encourage individuals from all areas and stages of study to consider submitting an abstract, and whether they are from a commercial/industrial or academic background.

You may submit an abstract for a podium presentation, a Pecha Kucha* presentation (see below), or a poster presentation.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • history of anatomy and dissection
  • death in the modern age
  • dissections, prosections and technology: can we ever replace cadavers in a medical setting?
  • ethics of display of human remains
  • funerary practices through the ages
  • disability and disease: archaeological and medical
  • changing attitudes to death and the human body (eg. the death positive movement)
  • battlefields, disaster areas, and identification of the dead
  • forensic methods, eg. facial reconstruction
  • dead on the big screen: television, documentary, film and media
  • lifecourse and osteobiographies
  • sex and gender, biology and identity
  • morphology and evolutionary anatomy
  • the body social

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words, and should be formatted in a Word file (either a .doc or .docx file). Please include the following information when submitting your abstract: your full name, institution/company, and whether you are applying for a podium, Pecha Kucha*, or poster presentation.

Please submit your abstracts via email to by Friday 16th December 2016. If you have any questions, please contact us as soon as possible.
* What is a Pecha Kucha presentation?
 A Pecha Kucha presentation, otherwise known as a ’20×20′ presentation, is a concise presentation format consisting of exactly 20 slides which are each displayed for 20 seconds. The slides are set to change automatically after 20 seconds, therefore producing a presentation which is exactly 6 minutes and 40 seconds in length. This type of presentation works best with images and little text, so would work very well for particularly visual presentations or projects.

Further information is available at If your abstract is accepted for a Pecha Kucha presentation, you will be sent further guidance on how to format your presentation. If you have any questions, please contact the organising committee.
Call for Workshop Proposals
We also invite proposals for workshops, which will be run on the final day of this three day conference. Workshops should be related to the overall theme of the conference, but can cover a topic not listed above.

In your proposal, please include the following information:

  • title of the workshop
  • organisers and main contact (including contact details for all)
  • number of delegates per group/session
  • target audience/profession
  • any requirements of the delegates taking part
  • facilities required (eg. classroom, laboratory, open space, etc)
  • technical equipment required (eg. computer/audiovisual equipment)
  • outline of the workshop, including aims or objectives
  • relevance to the conference theme
  • any health and safety concerns or associated risks of the workshop
  • is this a new workshop, or has something similar run before? If so, please give details

Organisers will be asked to run their workshops twice (up to two hours each), or can run a four hour ‘drop in’ session. Please specify which format you would like to run when applying, and why you feel this format would work best for your workshop.

Please submit workshop proposals to by Friday 18th November 2016. If you have any ideas, we encourage you to contact the committee to discuss your proposal informally so we can advise you on whether we have suitable facilities.
Posted in Death Becomes Her (blog) | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Death, Dying, Bereavement and Technologies in the 21 Century

CFP: Death, Dying, Bereavement and Technologies in the 21 Century

BSA Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement Study Group Annual Symposium

Friday 2 December 2016, University of Sheffield


Posted in Death Becomes Her (blog) | Tagged | Leave a comment

Before I Die: A festival for the living about dying


University of York

Part of a growing social movement to reflect on how we manage death and dying, by providing space and opportunities to talk and discuss end-of-life issues as individuals and as a society. Our festival is part of a network of events across the UK for national ‘Dying Awareness’ week.



Posted in Death Becomes Her (blog) | Tagged | Leave a comment