Death, Burial and the Afterlife in the Arts and Humanities

Call for Papers


Keynote Speaker: Jan Assmann (Konstanz University)

University College Dublin

23-25 June 2016


Death fundamentally determines human existence,  and the ways in which societies  respond to this fact play a crucial part in shaping the identities of individuals as well as social, religious and political groups. Hence the arts and humanities have always focused on death as one of their central topics, including the fear of death, the ‘taming’ of death through ritual or aesthetic sublimation or the utilisation of death to manipulate social and political ends.

This three-day conference – hosted by the UCD College of Arts & Humanities– aims at bringing together representatives of all branches of the arts and humanities from Ireland and further afield. In an interdisciplinary exchange, we hope to foster new insights into the way in which death shapes our existence, and welcome proposals on all issues related to death, burial and the afterlife. These may focus, for example, on individual or collective experiences, the role of death in personal, religious or national contexts, death’s sublimation in the arts or the use of death as a metaphor.

To allow for adequate discussion time, papers should be of no more than 20 minutes’ duration; please submit an abstract of up to 250 words, as well as your name, a short CV of no more than 150 words, and contact data and affiliation, in a word-compatible document to The deadline for the submission of proposals is Friday, 13 November 2015; notification of acceptance will be circulated by mid-January. For more information please visit


Organising Committee

Dr Wolfgang Marx (UCD School of Music)

Dr Philip Cottrell (UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy)

Dr Judith Devlin (UCD School of History)

Dr Siobhán Donovan (UCD School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics)