Leiden University Graduate Conference “Death: the Cultural Meaning of the End of Life” (24-25 January, 2013)

Leiden University Graduate Conference “Death: the Cultural
Meaning of the End of Life” (24-25 January, 2013)
Location: Netherlands
Call for Papers Date: 2012-11-15

Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society, Netherlands 24–25
January, 2013

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
research projects.

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
lucasconference2013@gmail.com. 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:
lucasconference2013@gmail.com. Further details will be available online in
the Fall.

The organizing committee:
Odile Bodde
Maarten Jansen
David Louwrier
Jenny Weston

Organizing Committee
Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS)
PO Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands

Email: lucasconference2013@gmail.com
Visit the website at

About African Interdisciplinary Studies Association Website

Prof. Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi is President of African Interdisciplinary Studies Association (AISA), a pioneer professional associaiton bringing together members from all disciplines in Africa and abroad. He is a former Fulbright Scholar who previously worked as Deputy Vice Chancellor at Kisii University and also Director of Research and Professor in Peace and Strategic Studies at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), 2010-2013. He has previously taught at Central Washington University, USA (2005-2010) in African Studies Programme and Moi University (1992-2000) in the Department of Development Studies and other public universities in Kenya. Prof. Amutabi holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA in History and African Studies. He received his B.A (Hons) in 1989 in Political Science and History and M.A in 1991 from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Maurice Amutabi is co-editor of Regime Change and Succession Politics in Africa: Five Decades of Misrule (with Shadrack Wanjala Nasong’o) – in 2013. Amutabi also co-edited Africa after Fifty Years: Retrospections and Reflections (with Toyin Falola and Sylvester Gundona) in 2012. Amutabi is the author of The NGO Factor in Africa: The Case of Arrested Development in Kenya (New York: Routledge, 2006). Amutabi is co-author of Nationalism and Democracy for People-Centered Development in Africa (Moi University Press, 2000). He has also co-authored Foundations of Adult Education in Africa (Cape Town/Hamburg: Pearson/UNESCO, 2005). He has written two novels, Because of Honor (a novel on Islam in Africa) and These Good People (a novel on corruption in Africa). Amutabi is also the author of Nakhamuma Stories (a collection of short stories from the Abaluyia community of western Kenya). His chapters have appeared in over thirty books. His articles have appeared in several refereed and reputable journals such as African Studies Review, African Contemporary Cultural Studies, Canadian Journal of African Studies, International Journal of Educational Development; and Jenda: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. Amutabi has made presentations at over one hundred national and international conferences. Amutabi is the Vice-President of the Kenya Studies and Scholars’ Association (KESSA), Kenya’s premier research and academic organization. He is the editor-in-chief of Kenya Studies Review and Eastern Africa Journal of Humanities and Sciences. Prof. Amutabi has conducted extensive research on many issues of development. He has taught courses on peace and conflict and gender and development. He teaches in the PhD and Masters Programme in the Institute of Peace and Security Studies at Kisii University. He enjoys blogging and writing and is an avid sports fan, but does not support any of team, preferring to support the team that plays well.
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