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Message posted on 13/01/2018

CFP: EASA panel on death and commemoration through shifting landscapes

Death and commemoration through shifting landscapes


15th EASA Biennial Conference: Staying, Moving, Settling

14-17 August, 2018

We are interested in submitting an EASA network panel for Visual Anthropology that explores visual representations of death and commemorative practices in public spaces (see a draft of the panel abstract below). As I and my co-convenor are only MAs, in addition to general interest in this panel, we are seeking an additional co-convenor with a PhD. We would also welcome any information about similar thematic panels that others may be developing for the 15th EASA Biennial.

Panel Abstract:

The panel invites discussion on the visual, spatial, and performative representations of death and commemorative practices in public spaces. We ask how public and private representations of death and recollections of life have shaped and been shaped by material environments and epochal shifts. We are especially interested in those practices located between and following epochal shifts – e.g. socialism or colonialism and their post-cursors. As the anthropologist Katherine Verdery (1999) has shown, dead bodies and their movements (whether physically displacing a corpse or distributing numerous copies of that corpse via photographs or even memorial statues) provide a unique opportunity to examine shifting regimes of space and time, e.g. from socialism to post-socialism in Eastern Europe. However, by thinking between and following these shifts, we are careful to acknowledge the complex historical and material legacies of former states and regimes of power as well as those pasts, bodies, and voices intentionally or unintentionally forgotten.

We encourage presentations that examine the different ways that spatially-embedded practices of commemoration and death have transformed conceptualizations, feelings, and uses of public space within urban contexts. We are also looking for presentations that include a detailed study of a single site through time or those that have a multi-site component. Finally, we especially encourage submissions that have a strong visual component.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • the political lives of dead bodies
  • conceptualizations of life and death
  • commemoration practices
  • mourning practices
  • spatially-embedded experiences of death
  • the formation and transformation of social memory on death and mourning

Please be in touch with Kailey Rocker (kailey.rocker@gmail.com) and Arba Bekteshi (arba.bekteshi@gmail.com) if you are interested in either co-convening/developing this panel or discussing your abstract submission before the official call.


Kailey Rocker, MA, PhD Candidate (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) Arba Bekteshi, MA (University of Sussex)


Kailey Rocker Anthropology PhD Candidate UNC Chapel Hill, US

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