DDD 10 International Conference

Centre for ThanatologyChanging European Death Ways: New Perspectives in Death Studies

The Tenth Death, Dying and Disposal Conference (DDD10) will be held at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on 9-12 September 2011 under the auspices of the University’s Centre for Thanatology and Faculty of Religious Studies, and the international Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS).

This international conference, held every two years since 1993, will continue to bring together academics and practitioners from many of the Arts-Humanities, Social-Sciences and Medicine-Palliative Care fields.

This is the DDD’s first visit to Continental Europe and to Nijmegen, the oldest city in The Netherlands, where in 1678-79 a first step to European unification was taken when the Treaties of Peace of Nijmegen were signed. Still today, the Eurovision-tune is the prelude of the Te Deum that Marc-Antoine Charpentier wrote for this occasion. In this mood the conference seeks to contribute to a comparative framework to improve our understanding of the rapidly and radically changing death ways in the various countries of Europe and elsewhere.

Such a framework considering the resemblances and differences is both of scientific and practical relevance as regulations and institutional arrangements vary considerably and death can be expected to play an increasing role in the societies concerned because of several factors: an aging population, early diagnosis coupled with prolonged dying, rampant individualism, increased physical and social mobility, environmental degradation, and, most recently, the threat of terrorism and a pandemic. Furthermore, the provision of care for the elderly and dying is not secured, end-of-life decisions have become a hotly debated issue, traditional meaning systems crumble, new and more personalized forms of religiosity arise, and cemeteries are shrinking and difficult to maintain due the increase of cremations.

The overarching theme of the conference is mortuary variation in Europe and beyond.

Because dealing with death provides a valuable focus for comparative research on human experience and cultural life, in past and present, proposals are invited that relate to death, dying and disposal, drawing upon the resources of the disciplines embraced by the DDD. Papers are encouraged in religious studies, anthropology-sociology, archaeology, classics, history, philosophy, literature and art, and the medical fields associated with death, palliative care and grief, as well as in the fields of law, music, theology and spirituality.

The Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath, UK, and the Centre for Death and Life Studies, Durham University, UK, organised the last two editions of the Death, Dying and Disposal Conference, in 2007 and 2009 respectively. The Centre for Thanatology, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, will host DDD10 in 2011.

This conference will provide opportunity for papers and posters to be presented. Abstracts for papers (maximum of 250 words) and outlines of poster-topics (150 words) are invited by January 1st 2011.

Details concerning conference will be made available on-line at the web site of the Centre for Thanatology, Faculty of Religious Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen: http://www.ru.nl/ct/english/.

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