CFP: The Role of Death, Burial and Afterlife in Shaping Human Identity, UCD, 25-6 September 2010

Closing date for proposals: 14th May 2010

“Our Birth is Nothing but our Death Begun”
The Role of Death, Burial and the Afterlife in Shaping Human Identity
Dublin, UCD, 25-6 September 2010

Death is one of the main driving forces of human endeavour; much of what we do and value is based on the knowledge that our time on this planet is limited – and that we do not know how much time we have left.  Burial rites and concepts of the afterlife were developed in order to deal with this threat; together, they form major determinants of human identity. It is therefore no surprise that death, burial and the afterlife play a central part in disciplines like the arts, literature, philosophy, theology, sociology, psychology, archaeology, but also law, business, music or medicine, to name but a few.

This two-day conference – jointly hosted by the UCD College of Arts & Celtic Studies and the Humanities Institute of Ireland – aims at bringing together representatives of the arts, the social sciences, the medical sciences and cognate areas from Ireland and further afield. In an interdisciplinary exchange, we hope to foster new insights into the ways death shapes our lives as individuals or groups.

We welcome proposals on all matters linking death and identity, whether they focus on individual or collective experiences, on the role of death in personal, religious or national contexts, or on the use of death as a metaphor.

Papers should be of 20 minutes duration (with ten minutes added for discussion); please submit an abstract of up to 250 words, as well as your name, contact data and affiliation, to The deadline for the submission of proposals is Friday, 14 May. For more information please visit

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