In Haunt

The Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS) presents the 15th Annual Conference on the Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal, which for the first time will be hosted at Manchester Metropolitan University, on Wednesday 1st September – Saturday 4th September 2021. This edition is taking the theme of ‘Diversity and Decolonisation’, and is now open for the submission of papers (final deadline 17.00 on Friday 16th April 2021), with more details below. 

The conference offers a crucial opportunity to discuss key issues of life, dying and death, including how death is considered in society, the processes and industries involved, and developments that can be made. There is also an additional article about the conference which can be read on Haunt Manchester here.

By Who's Denio on Unsplash

Conference themes:

In increasingly fractured and confusing times, this conference seeks to promote an inclusive approach to death as the one intersection that truly touches us all. The covid-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, Brexit, economic recession, the rise of right-wing populism and the re-emergence of culture wars are both shaped by and reproduce or seek to ameliorate deep inequalities at local, national and international scales. In this context, the conference aims to focus on forefronting issues of diversity and decolonisation in Death Studies.

In this spirit, papers and panels are welcomed which focus on the following (non-exhaustive) list of possible topics, as they relate to death, dying and disposal:

  • Animals
  • Race
  • Colonialism/decolonisation
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Environmental emergency and extinction
  • Grievability and bare life
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Intersectionality
  • Representation(s)
  • Class
  • Economies
  • Neoliberalism
  • Migration
  • Inequalities
  • The post human
  • Radicalism
  • The covid-19 pandemic
  • New forms of care, solidarity, community and support
  • The role of technology eg. the internet, social media, online funerals, support networks etc.

The conference will be accompanied by an accessible, community co-curated arts and culture programme that will address these themes through exhibition, performance, discussions and experiential encounters.*

Submitting panels and papers:

The deadline for submission of panel proposals is 17.00 on Friday 11th December 2020.

Please send initial panel proposals to

For panel proposals, please provide:

  • The name(s), institutional affiliation(s) and contact details of the session convenor(s)
  • A 100-word summary of the panel theme and why it is appropriate for this conference
  • A list of proposed speakers, if available (or an indicative list)
  • Individual paper titles, if available

You may submit a panel proposal without having identified or committed speakers at this stage, and will be informed by early January if your panel proposal has been accepted. You must then undertake your own Call for Papers and/or invite your panel members and then submit a full panel proposal, including speakers, titles and abstracts, by the final deadline as below. The conference reserves the right to decline panels at the second stage, subject to review.

If accepted as a panel proposal in December, you will be sent an email detailing how to submit the full panel.

The final deadline for individual paper abstracts and full panel details is 17.00 on Friday 16th April 2021.

To submit your individual paper abstracts please complete THIS SURVEY with your details, paper title, abstract and biography.

  • There are plans to offer a limited number of subsidised places for applicants who may find it difficult to attend due to reasons relating to equality, diversity and inclusion (as befits the conference themes). If you wish to receive further information about this scheme, please indicate this on your submission.
  • There will also be an additional limited number of opportunities to submit pre-recorded video presentations of papers, should applicants not be able to attend due to their circumstances. Please note such submissions will not include access to the conference via digital means, as resources are not available for this option at this time.

You should expect notification about your paper or panel by the start of May 2021.

Conference registration will also open at this time.

For any enquiries please email (please do not submit individual abstracts to this address).

*Please note -  a mainly on-site, physical conference is in the planning but due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic the right is reserved to modify the actual conference organisation.

Photo by Who’s Denio on Unsplash




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