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Life at the cemetery III 
Noa Vana (Tel Aviv University)
Yana Feldman (Ashkelon academic college)
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Morality and Legality
Tuesday 30 March, 11:15-12:45 (UTC+1)

Short Abstract:

Few ethnographies explored the everyday life in cemeteries. We invite contributions that engage in ethical, political, social, and cultural queries in these social sites. We aim to expand the anthropological gaze and initiate a discussion that blurs the boundaries between life and death.

Long Abstract

Anthropology considered the "end-of-life" and the relation between death, dying, and society since its earliest days (e.g., Durkheim, 1915). Places associated with death and dying have long been the focal of academic research (e.g., Sudnow, 1967). There is also a considerable body of work on cemeteries, their definition, types, purposes and uses, design, mourning behavior, and so forth (e.g., Mosse, 1991). However, there has been only a handful of scholarly work that situated its projects as ethnographies of the everyday life in cemeteries (e.g., Nielsen & Groes, 2014). We invite contributions from researchers who are interested in presenting papers that engage with cemeteries as an intersection between the dead and the living. We specifically encourage authors to submit papers that explore cemeteries as urban public spaces, cultural and political landscapes, and meeting points where the state and community share a mutual responsibility for the dead and the living. For example, we would like to ask how political, legal, and moral actions are taking place in cemeteries? How exclusion and inclusion practices in cemeteries (e.g., a burial outside the cemetery gates or in a special section) depict identity-making processes? How affect and transformation are performed in cemeteries? Etc. We aim to advance a discussion that will blur the "social line of demarcation separating the 'dead' from the 'living'" (Baudrillard, 1993, p. 127). Thus, expanding the realm of anthropological studies by asking questions regarding ethics, responsibility, exclusion, political protests, etc. in a field in which they were rarely discussed and researched.

Accepted papers: