CFP: Dying at the Margins: A critical exploration of Material-Discursive Perspectives to Death and Dying

Organizers: Natashe Lemos Dekker (University of Amsterdam and Leiden University Medical Center) and Jesse D Peterson (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
Place: Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Division of History of Science, Technology, and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Dates: September 26-27, 2019


Death is often assumed to arrive when heart and lungs stop. Yet, sometimes the borders between life and death are unclear. Death, then, may get interrupted, delayed, or come undone, disrupting the “natural” and “normal” forms of a “good” death. We acknowledge such disruptions as material and discursive; that is, bodies, minds, geographies, stories, and more act to challenge human perspectives on how people, animals, plants, or things ought to die and where and how the dead ought to be laid to rest. Suddenly, what seemed coherent no longer is, in the breakdown or dissolution of that which is dying but also in the way one orders worlds and afterworlds.

This workshop, thus, seeks to explore socio-ecological networks of the dying and dead that exist at the margins. We see tantalizing glimpses of this endeavor in the work of Achille Mbembe’s notion of “necro-politics” that explores the instrumentalization and material destruction of the human, Philip R. Olson’s “necro-waste” that looks at the human body as a form of material waste, and Joshua Reno’s work on the biosemiotics of shit as a “sign of life.” Such work invites us to pursue and further identify ways to explore and establish connections between dying and death from perspectives that refute a nature/culture binary—to ask questions such as:

·       What boundary work takes place to construct and maintain the categories of alive, not-alive, dead, dying, and undead for places, objects, and beings?

·       How do states and processes of acquiescing to, existing in between, manipulating, or overcoming life and/or death affect normative assumptions about dying and death?

·       What might it mean to reconfigure human understanding of death to a more ecological frame that accommodates more-than-human lives and/or deep time?

·       How might the memories, spirits, or spiritualities related to the dead and dying limit, expand, or explode a material-discursive frame?

·       How do such challenges alter ethical approaches or values attached to dying and death?

Through this workshop, we hope to build a bridge between scholars working in the medical and environmental humanities and the social sciences, providing a venue to put into conversation research that explores how dying “bodies”—animal (including human), plant, thing, place—challenge natural, normative, and notions of a “good” death.  We encourage applications from scholars whose research practices consider feminist and queer studies, new materialism and waste, plant and animal studies, non-western or indigenous studies, and/or death studies.

Deadline for abstracts is June 5, 2019. Please send your abstract (max 250 words) and a short biography (100 words) to Natashe Lemos Dekker ( and Jesse Peterson ( Notifications of acceptance will be sent on June 11, 2019 or shortly thereafter.

We are happy to announce that Philip R. Olsen and Marietta Radomska will give keynote lectures and participate in the workshop. Participants will be asked to submit their papers by August 31. These will be pre-circulated to all participants and each paper assigned a discussant. Papers do not need to be finished articles, but can take the form of a think piece of up to 6 pages. We ask all participants to read all contributions beforehand to ensure in-depth discussion. During the workshop, each participant will pitch their work, followed by another participant who will act as a discussant, and who will pose remarks and questions. All participants will be allocated a text to discuss.

The workshop will be held at KTH – Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm on September 26-27, 2019. A workshop dinner will take place on the night of the 26th. Lunch and coffee will also be provided free of charge during the workshop. We may be able to offer partial travel reimbursement for some applicants.

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Full programme of The Third International Queer Death Studies Workshop is out now!

Dear all,

Please, check the full programme – including abstracts and bios – of The Third International Queer Death Studies Workshop Death Matters: Death and Dying in a Queer Context, taking place on 30-31 May 2018 in Linköping, here.

If you would like to attend the event, but haven’t registered yet, please do so by sending an email to: tara.mehrabi[at] by 23rd May 2018 at the latest.

You can also find the event on Facebook.

CfP for a special issue of Women, Gender & Research on Queer Death Studies

Cfp: KKF 2019/2-3: Queer Death Studies

Call for Papers:
Queer Death Studies: Coming to Terms with Death, Dying and Mourning Differently

Special issue
Women, Gender & Research, 2019/2-3

Queer Death Studies (QDS) refers to an emerging transdisciplinary field of research that critically and (self) reflexively investigates and challenges conventional normativities, assumptions, expectations, and regimes of truths that are brought to life and made evident by death, dying, and mourning.

Since its establishment as a research field in the 1970s, Death Studies has drawn attention to the questions of death, dying, and mourning as complex and multifaceted phenomena that require inter- or multi-disciplinary approaches and perspectives. Yet, the engagements with death, dying and mourning, constitutive of conventional Death Studies’ investigations, tend to remain insufficient and reductive. They are often governed by the normative notions of: the subject; bonds between humans, as well as between humans and (their) animals; family relations and communities; rituals; and finally, experiences of grief, mourning, and bereavement. Moreover, these engagements are frequently embedded in constraining beliefs in life/death divides, constructed along the lines of conventional religious and/or scientific mind/body dualisms, characteristic of the Western cultural imaginaries.

Against this background, QDS offers a site for ‘queering’ traditional ways of approaching death both as a subject of study and philosophical reflection, and as a phenomenon to articulate in artistic work or practices of mourning. Here, the notion of ‘queer’ conveys many meanings. It refers to researching and narrating death, dying, and mourning in the context of queer bonds and communities, where the subjects involved/studied/interviewed and the relations they are involved in are recognised as ‘queer’. Simultaneously, the term ‘queer’ can also function as an adverb and a verb, referring thus to the processes of going beyond and unsettling (subverting, exceeding) binaries and given norms, normativities, and constraining conventions. In other words, ‘queer’ becomes both a process and a methodology that is applicable and exceeds the focus on gender and sexuality as its exclusive concerns.

This special issue invites academic as well as artistic contributions that focus on and explore the ways queer theory and queer perspectives can help us rethink death, dying, remains, afterlife, mourning and the life-death dichotomy.

The topics may include, but are not limited to:
– Queer methodologies of researching death, dying and mourning
– Queer practices of mourning and bereavement
– Materiality of death and corpses
– Death/life ecologies
– Necropolitics and borders
– Un/grievable lives and deaths
– Death and biotechnology/biomedicine
– Queering cancer and other life-threatening diseases
– Suicide
– Technologies of life/death
– Queer widowhood
– Decolonialising death
– Illness narratives and death
– Ethico-politics and practices of killability
– Nonhuman death and dying
– Extinction and annihilation
– Death and acts of resistance
– ‘Slow death’
– Queering temporalities of death
– Queer spiritualities

Marietta Radomska, postdoc, Linköping University, Sweden
Tara Mehrabi, postdoc, University of Turku, Finland
Nina Lykke, professor emerita, Linköping University, Sweden

Deadline for abstracts (max 300-word + up to 100 word author bio): June 25, 2018
Deadline for articles: December 1, 2018

All contributions must be in English and should be submitted to:

Guidelines for contributors:

Download the call as pdf.

For more information about the journal Women, Gender & Research / Kvinder, Køn & Forskning, see: or

See also:

The Third International Queer Death Studies Workshop “Death Matters: Death and Dying in a Queer Context”: the programme & registration!

Dear all,

It is our great pleasure to announce the programme of the upcoming Third International Queer Death Studies Workshop: Death Matters: Death and Dying in a Queer Context that takes place on 30th and 31st May 2018 at Linköping University. The workshop starts at 10:15 on 30th May and finishes at 16:00 on 31st May.

In order to register, please send an email to: tara.mehrabi [at]

Registration DEADLINE: 23rd May 2018.



30th May (Wednesday)

10:15 – 11:00 Introduction

11:00 – 12:30 Session I:

Margrit Shildrick (Stockholm University, SE/York University, Toronto, CA), Temporalities and Onto-epistemologies of Death and Dying

Natashe Lemos Dekker (University of Amsterdam/Leiden University, NL), Valuing Life: Normative and Moral Frames at the End of Life with Dementia

12:30 – 13:45 Lunch (on a self-paid basis)

13:45 – 15:55 Session II

Andria Nyberg Forshage & Eliot Eklöw (Södertörn University/Stockholm University, SE), Lilies of Sterile Pleasure. On Indolence, Deathliness, Deproduction, and Double Affirmation

ida Hillerup Hansen (Central European University, HU), ‘Falling Apart’: Prisms of Living with Loss

Magdalena Górska (Utrecht University, NL), Suffocations

15:55 – 16:10 Break (fika)

16:10 – 18:10 Session III

Órla O’Donovan (University College Cork, IE), Death, Dying and the ‘Commons’

Anne Bettina Pedersen (Aarhus University, DK), (Un)Making Sylvia Likens: Towards a Theory of Femicide Narratives

Saad Khan (independent researcher, BD), Dying Inside Black Mirror’s Posthumanist World

18:10 – 18:30 Discussion

19:30 – … Dinner downtown (on a self-paid basis)


31st May (Thursday)

10:15 – 11:45 Session IV

Agnieszka Kotwasińska (University of Warsaw, PL), Self/Haunted: Death and Mourning in Recent Horror Cinema

Line Henriksen (University of Copenhagen, DK) & Tara Mehrabi (Linköping University, SE), Hosts, Ghosts and Flies: Thinking Life, Death and Ethics through HBO’s West World

11:45 – 13:15 Lunch (on a a self-paid basis)

13:15 – 14:45 Session V

Alexandra Løvås Kristinnsdottir (University of Oslo, NO), Death Positivity and Its Potentials

Kristin Gupta (Rice University, US), Death (Feminist) Futures

14:45 – 15:00 Break (fika)

15:00 – 16:00 Final discussion

The 3rd International Queer Death Studies Workshop: the programme soon to be announced!

Dear all,
We have received a great number of fantastic paper proposals for The Third International QDS Workshop Death and Dying in a Queer Context, which has made the selection process extremely difficult (and a bit painful, too)!

But, in this connection, we’ve also decided to create an extra time slot and begin the event earlier, i.e. at 10:15 on 30th May.

This means that the workshop takes place on:
30th May from 10:15 – 18:00
31st May from 10:15 – 16:00.

We are trying to change the times in this FB event, but the edit option doesn’t seem to work. We’ll do our best to sort this out soon!


Dear all,

Due to many requests we received, we have decided to extend the abstract deadline for The Third International Queer Death Studies Workshop until 18th March 2018. You can find more information on the workshop, including the CfP here, or in the pdf version here.

We hope that in this way those of you who would like to take active part in the workshop and haven’t managed to get in touch with us will now have a few more days to do so!

We are so much looking forward to hearing from you and to the workshop itself!

Official launch of Queer Death Studies Network

Queer Death Studies Network (QDSN) was officially launched in November 2016 at the G16: Swedish National Gender Research Conference in Linköping and has been vividly developing since then. The network constitutes a space for researchers, students, artists, activists, and other practitioners who critically and (self) reflexively investigate and challenge conventional normativities, assumptions, expectations, and regimes of truths that are brought to life and made evident by death, dying, and mourning.