PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Boston, MA
November 18-21, 2017

2017 Annual Meeting Program (PDF)

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Preliminary 2017 Annual Meeting Program (MS Word)

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Death, Dying, and Beyond Unit

Statement of Purpose: 

This Unit was formed to address all manner of scholarly discussion relating to death. While death is the single certainty in every life, a myriad number of ways exist to study and approach it. Our aim is to provide an outlet for the scholarly discussion of all issues relating to death, the dying, the grieving, the dead, and the afterlife. We are open to all methodologies, religious traditions, and topics of inquiry.

Call for Papers: 

The Death, Dying, and Beyond Unit has issued three calls for papers.

First Call:
For 2017, we encourage proposals on any of the following themes: death at the margins or with marginalized groups, particularly including the modern Syrian diaspora; disposal of the body, whether human or animal, and its historical technologies; and, in advance of our 2018 focus on the 50th anniversary of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s seminal On Death and Dying, initial discussion on assisted dying and hospice/palliative care.

Second Call:
Playing Dead. Death, Dying and Beyond and Religion and Gaming Issue a Joint Call for Papers in the following areas:

• How do video games (and we interpret games broadly here) interpret death and the afterlife?

• How has the history of gaming shaped contemporary video game notions of death, dying and beyond?

• How do the “lives” of players intersect with religious notions of life, death, and concepts of afterlife?

• In what ways do alternate realities reflect life beyond the grave?

• How, and in what ways, do the rules of games structure alternate conceptions of death, dying and beyond?

• What do games reveal about our religious understanding of life, death, and possible afterlives?
For this joint session, we anticipate a lightning round of seven presentations with five minutes each (for a total of 35 minutes of presentation), followed by an interactive gaming session for panelists/the audience. It is our belief that allowing a participatory experience of the games themselves will facilitate an interactive and fruitful experience for both presenters and the audience alike.

Third Call:
The Death, Dying, and Beyond Unit and the Religion, Film, and Visual Culture Unit are looking to mount a co-sponsored panel on "Superheroes and Mortality." Specifically, the emphasis for this session would be on the superhero genre (in comic books, film, television, or affiliated media) and issues of mortality, mourning, funeral rites, the hereafter, resurrection, reincarnation, thanatology, and eschatology. Submitters are encouraged to take the theme literally (i.e., we are not asking for figurative "superheroes" nor metaphorical "death"). Topics reaching beyond the English-speaking, U.S. market are especially welcome.

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members
ChairSteering Committee