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Death, Dying, and Beyond Unit

Call for Proposals for November Meeting

The Death, Dying, and Beyond Unit invites papers on the topic of "Navigating Hells: Migration and Depictions of Transnational Hell " This year’s call seeks paper on depictions of hell across religious traditions, and the ways in which hell speaks to religious conceptions beyond everyday life—both in the afterlife, and in possible conceptions of transnational and migrant communities at the borders of life and nationhood. Papers are encouraged to explore how various forms of literature, art, or media portray hells in relation to the complex narratives of migration and transnational living and dying. Submissions addressing hells both metaphorical and real are welcome, and we also appreciate non-traditional presentations—whether art installations or those that address topics of music and the spoken word—and those that present a diversity of perspectives.


The Death, Dying, and Beyond Unit invites papers on the topic of “Going Beyond Human Death: Mourning and Disposal of Non-Human Animals”. This call invites papers probing diverse aspects of non-human animal mortality. This panel seeks contributions on animal death and grief, ranging from submissions on biodiversity loss, the extinction of animals, animals as conservation subjects, the disposal of animals, death justice and animals, the treatment of animals in captivity and responses to death and grief, death and loss of companion animals, the non-disposal of animals viewed as “road kill,” grief among animals themselves, etc. Contributors are encouraged to explore zoo settings' impact, altered dynamics of human-animal relationships, expressions of animal grief, companion animals, and eco-ethical implications of increased animal deaths. We welcome interdisciplinary approaches that offer discussions on grief, disposal, and eco-ethical considerations. We perceive this call broadly and seek contributions that interpret “animaldom” from a wide variety of angles.


Call for Proposals for Online June Meeting

The Death, Dying, and Beyond Unit invites papers on the topic of “Death on Lockdown: Reflecting on Responses to Pandemic Mortality.” This call seeks analyses of pandemic-related mortality, encouraging submissions that retrospectively dissect the dimensions of death experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. We invite submissions examining reactions to death during COVID-19 lockdowns, exploring how COVID-19's impact intersected with death narratives, analyzing academic perspectives on pandemic death narratives, the marginalized and disabled communities' encounters with COVID-19 mortality, and the intersectional insights into pandemic death.

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.


  • John Borchert, University of North Carolina At Greensboro
    1/1/2023 - 12/31/2028
  • Jamie Brummitt, University of North Carolina At Wilmington
    1/1/2024 - 12/31/2029

Steering Committee Members


Review Process

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