Histories of Death Symposium

February 19-21, 2020
University of Turku, Finland

Our understandings of death come with long and complex histories, shaped by culture, place, time, power, and identities. This International Symposium delves into these many varied and interwoven Histories of Death. Death sets people into action, caring for the dying, the deceased, and the grieving in ways that range from the intimate to the professional. The Symposium brings researchers, artists, and activists together to engage in dialogue about the different ways people have approached death and mourning from everyday, cultural, and structural perspectives. Contributing to the interdisciplinary and rapidly growing field of Death Studies, historical analysis allows us to better understand how social factors — class, migrant background, and gender, among them — can result in unequal access to “good death” now, as in the past. Thinking historically lets us see how and why we have begun to move toward “death positivity,” alternative and ecological burial solutions, and new understandings of grief.

You can find the Symposium Program and Abstracts here.

If you have any questions about the Symposium or registration, please contact us at: historiesofdeath@gmail.com.

University of Turku students can earn lecture pass entries for attending. North American Studies students also have an opportunity to earn Independent Study credits (3ECTS). For more information on this symposium-related course offering, see Peppi.

The Symposium is funded by the Academy of Finland and hosted by the John Morton Center for North American Studies in partnership with the University of Turku’s Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History, and Political Science and the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies.

Symposium Organizing Committee: Dr. Samira Saramo (John Morton Center), Dr. Marta Cenedese (Turku Institute for Advanced Studies), Dr. Ville Soimetsä (Contemporary History), Malla Lehtonen (John Morton Center), and Symposium Interns Franseska Lahdenranta and Fredrika Lahdenranta.