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Death, Dying, and Beyond Unit

Call for Proposals

Death, Dying and Beyond Unit invites paper proposals on the following topics:

  • The “beyond” – histories, beliefs and rituals, contemporary instantiations, in relation to technology, social media, artistic/aesthetic representations
  • Death, Dying and the beyond in Literature – how are death, dying and the beyond portrayed in literature? How have new literary mediums influenced, affected, and expressed death and dying? How has literature been an avenue for the grieving? Aesthetics of this particular kind of literature; death/dying guides; how-to’s. How do things die in literature? And where?

The Death, Dying and Beyond and the Human Enhancement and Transhumanism Units invite paper proposals for a cosponsored panel on the intersection and paradoxical connection between the technological advancements in regards to extending and maintaining human life and the accompanying increase in the use of technology to create space/platforms for mourning practices and expressions of grief. Are humans immortalized by and through these technologies? If so, how? How do these technologies affect the experience and expression of grief? How do these technologies affect perceptions of the afterlife or the beyond? How does transhumanism as an emerging field speak to, intersect with, affect death and dying studies? Ethics within death and dying? How has/might religious practice change to incorporate technology (e.g. especially if you exist forever within an online platform)?

The Death, Dying and Beyond and the Teaching in Religion Units invite paper proposals for a cosponsored panel on the teaching of death, dying and beyond. “Death and Dying in World Religions,” “Sociology of Death,” “Cultures of Death and Dying,” or some variation of this undergraduate course usually exists as a general education course or elective in which students learn about how death, dying, and the afterlife are experienced, considered, handled, ritualized, mourned and memorialized, etc. in different religious traditions, cultures, geographies. Many courses, whether housed in religion departments, sociology or philosophy, explore a variety of approaches and methodologies while experimenting with new mediums and pedagogies. This cosponsored session invites paper proposals broadly on the teaching of death, dying, and beyond both within the university and outside the classroom.

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.


Steering Committee Members

  • John Borchert, Syracuse University
    Member Since: 2019
  • Jamie Brummitt, University of North Carolina At Wilmington
    Member Since: 2015
  • Beverley Foulks McGuire, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
    Member Since: 2019



Review Process

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