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Spaces of death in contemporary urban spaces
Mariske Westendorp (University Groningen)
Helena Nordh (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
Danielle House
Urban Space
Monday 14 September, 14:30-16:00, 16:30-18:00

Short abstract:

This panel aims to discuss comparatively how the study of death can be advanced by bringing anthropological and geographical insights together, with particular emphasis on the experiences, materializations, and spatializations of death in contemporary urban contexts.

Long abstract:

This panel aims to bring together interdisciplinary approaches to the study of death in contemporary urban spaces. Traditionally urban studies has been a focus for geographers and death a focus for anthropologists, but in recent years research in these areas have been converging, contributing to a rich field of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary death studies (e.g. Arnold et al 2018; Cannell 2010; Das 2016; Hallam and Hockey 2001; Kong 1999, 2012; Lopez and Gillespie 2015; Maddrell 2009, 2013, 2016; Maddrell et al 2018; McClymont 2018; Morin 2018; Tyner 2013; 2019; Venbrux 2018; Venbrux et al 2013). Drawing on theoretical frameworks and empirical observations, this panel will explore the insights and questions which arise through cross-disciplinary dialogue on contemporary spaces and practices associated with death, disposition and remembrance in complex urban contexts, advancing a people and space centered approach to the study of death. Possible themes that could be discussed during the panel are, among others: • Urban deathscapes (including diverse, colonial and postcolonial contexts); • Ritual spaces and practices in multicultural societies; • Material, immaterial and emotional geographies of human and non-human bodies, cemeteries, remembrance sites, etc.; • Institutionalized spaces of death, e.g., hospitals, hospices and morgues; • The mobility/transport of dead bodies within, to and from urban environments; • Urban topographies of death and remembrance in buildings, monuments and landscapes. The panel will be chaired by scholars from the HERA interdisciplinary research project on death and diversity in Northwest Europe, which includes scholars from anthropology, geography, international politics, religious studies, history, planning, transport and landscape architecture.