Symposium Program

*Program may be subject to changes


Keynote, Panel, Documentary, and Performance Abstracts


Please Note: Individual sessions and Keynotes are open to all. University of Turku students can also earn lecture pass entries by attending. Coffees, meals, and receptions, however, are for registered participants only.


Updated 12.2.2020



19:00–22:00     Pre-symposium Seminar & Pub Night at Bar Ö:

“Death and Apocalypse in Pop Culture”             

In Partnership with International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC)                     

Speakers: Kimi Kärki, Marika Ahonen, Kimmo Ahonen



EDUCARIUM 2, University of Turku


9:15–10:15     Symposium Registration / Coffee


10:15–10:45     Welcoming Remarks


10:45–12:00     PANEL 1: Collective Commemoration

Andrew G. Newby (Tampere Institute for Advanced Social Research, Finland)

Mass Death & Commemorative Culture: The “Great Famines” of Ireland and Finland Compared

Anna Huhtala (University of Tampere, Finland)

An Entire Nation in Mourning: Public Perception of Violent and Accidental death in Finland in the 1920s and 1930s

Karen Remmler (Mount Holyoke College, USA)

The Afterlives of Refugee Dead: What Remains?

Chair: Ville Soimetsä (FILPO)


12:00–13:30     Lunch 


13:30–14:40  KEYNOTE 1: Ilona Pajari & Kaarina Koski (Finnish Death Studies Association)

Histories of Death in Finland

Chair: Samira Saramo (JMC)


14:40–15:00  Refreshment Break


15:00–16:30  PANEL 2: The Teachings of Death

Chipamong Chowdhury (Theravada Buddhist Monk/ Chautauqua Institution, USA)

The Account of the Buddha’s Death

Junfu Wong (University of Cambridge, UK)

Preparing the Spirituality for Death: Lay Reinterpretation of Daoist Cosmological Death in Premodern China

Agita Misāne (Riga Stradiņš University, Latvia)

Perceptions of Death and Dying in Latvian Traditional Culture and Mythology

Karin Dirke, Annika Berg & Andreas Hellerstedt (Stockholm University, Sweden)

Teaching Death: Constructing a Research-based Course on the Intellectual History of Death

Chair: Marta Laura Cenedese (TIAS)


16:35–17:15     Dance Macabre: Magic Circus Performance by ArtTeatro


17:15–19:00     Reception




EDUCARIUM 2, University of Turku

9:45–11:00    PANEL 3: Politics & Change

Anastasia Papushina (Central European University, Hungary)

A Failed Experiment: Reinventing Death and Mourning in 1920’s Soviet Russia

 Samira Saramo (JMC, University of Turku, Finland)

Finnish Immigrants and the Politics of Death in Early Twentieth Century

 Emily Collins (NHS Oxford Deanery, UK) &

David Harrap (Queen Mary University of London, UK)

Modern Palliative Care & the Uses of History

Chair: Henna-Riikka Pennanen (JMC/TIAS)


11:00–11:15  Break


11:15–12:30  KEYNOTE 2: Julie-Marie Strange (Durham University, UK)

 Pet Cemetery: Love, Memory & Grieving for the Animal Dead, 1880–1970

 Chair: Marta Laura Cenedese (TIAS)


12:30–14:00  Lunch


13:00–13:45  Lunchtime Documentary Screening (Publicum Room 209)

The Price of Death with Rebekah Lee (University of London, UK)


14:00–15:30  PANEL 4: Families in Mourning

Mary McDonald-Rissanen (Independent Scholar/JMC Council, Finland)

Narratives on Women’s Death in 20th Century Women’s Diaries, Obituaries and Folk Songs

Ann-Marie Foster (Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland)

The Ephemera of the Dead: Family Commemoration Made Public

Katherine Parkin (Monmouth University, USA)

“Joy turned to sorrow”: Stillborns in Howard County, Indiana, 18901940

Maggie Mayhem (Independent Scholar/Activist/Doula, USA)

My First memento mori: Death Imagery on Baby and Infant Products

Chair: Samira Saramo (JMC)


15:30–15:50  Refreshment Break


15:50–17:00  PANEL 5: “Good Death” & Making of the Self

Jacqueline Holler (University of Northern British Columbia, Canada)

Sorrow, Rage, and Laughter: The Emotions of Death and Dying in Early Colonial New Spain

Vera Lind (Northern Illinois University, USA)

Beautiful Suicides: How Early Modern Suicides Attempted to Imitate a Good Death

Immanuel Mifsud (University of Malta, Malta)

“A Modest Requiem for Leli”: Performing the Thoughts of a Dying Man

Chair: Marika Ahonen (University of Turku)


17:00–19:00  Optional Walking Tour


19:00–21:00   Symposium Dinner




EDUCARIUM 2, University of Turku


10:15–11:30  KEYNOTE 3: Erin Millions (University of Winnipeg, Canada)

When Patients Go Missing: Indigenous Tuberculosis Patients and Death Colonialism in Manitoba, 1940s–1970s

Chair: Reetta Humalajoki (JMC)


11:30–13:00  Lunch


13:00–14:10  PANEL 6: Spaces of Death

Povilas Dikavičius  (Central European University, Hungary)

Somber Celebrations: Multifaith Funerary Rituals in 17th Century Vilnius

Gian Luca Amadei (Independent Scholar, UK)

“And my mother became that beautiful fire”: Crematoriums in a Changing London

Arnar Arnason (University of Aberdeen, Scotland) &

Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson (University of Iceland, Iceland)

Mourning for the More-than-Human

Chair: Martin Cloonan (TIAS)


14:10–14:30  Refreshment Break



Into the Night: Portraits of Life & Death with Director Helen Whitney (USA)

Chair: Benita Heiskanen (JMC)


17:15–18:00  Closing Discussion


18:15–21:00  Optional Sauna & Winter Swim Excursion to Ispoinen 

(approximate cost  15€ / bring your own bathing suit and towel)