Leiden University Graduate Conference “Death: the Cultural
Meaning of the End of Life” (24-25 January, 2013)
Call for Papers Date: 2012-11-15
Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society, Netherlands 24–25
Death is a defining factor in the explorations of our subjectivity, art,
history, politics, and many other aspects of our social interactions and
perceptions of the world. In the modern age, conceptions of death have
continued to shift and evolve, yet our perceptions are still fueled by an
instinctive fear of the end of life.
Despite our attempts to shut-out death or overcome its inevitability, the
end of life has remained a visible and unavoidable aspect of our society.
From antiquity to the present day, perceptions of death have been
represented through various different mediums: visual culture, art,
literature, music, historical writing, cinema, religious symbols, national
anniversaries, and public expressions of mourning.
This conference aims to explore how death has been represented and
conceptualized, from classical antiquity to the modern age, and the extent
to which our perceptions and understandings of death have changed (or
remained the same) over time. The wide scope of this theme reflects the
historical range of LUCAS’s (previously called LUICD) three research
programs (Classics and Classical Civilization, Medieval and Early Modern
Studies and Modern and Contemporary Studies), as well as the
intercontinental and interdisciplinary focus of many of the institute’s
The LUCAS Graduate Conference welcomes papers from all disciplines within
the humanities. The topic of your proposal may address the concept of
death from a cultural, historical, classical, artistic, literary,
cinematic, political, economic, or social viewpoint.
Questions that might be raised include: How have different cultures
imagined the end of life? What is the role of art (literature, or cinema)
in cultural conceptions of death? How might historical or contemporary
conceptualizations of death be related to the construction of our
subjectivity and cultural identity? What is the cultural meaning(s) of
death? To what extent has modern warfare changed our perceptions of death?
How is death presented in the media and how has this changed? In what ways
has religion influenced our reflections on death and the afterlife?
Please send your proposal (max. 300 words) to present a 20-minute paper to
firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for proposals is 15 November,
2012. You will be notified whether or not your paper has been selected by
1 December, 2012.
As with the previous LUCAS Graduate Conference (2011), a selection of
papers will be published in the conference proceedings. For those who
attend the conference, there will be a registration fee of €45 to cover
the cost of lunches, coffee breaks, and other conference materials.
Unfortunately we cannot offer financial support at this time.
If you have any questions regarding the conference and/or the proposals,
please do not hesitate to contact the organizing committee at:
email@example.com. Further details will be available online in
The organizing committee:
Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS)
PO Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
Visit the website at