Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Death Studies

For a Special Issue on

The materiality of Death and Expressions of Mourning: Exploring Cultural Significance in comparative perspectives

Manuscript deadline
30 April 2024

Cover image - Death Studies

Special Issue Editor(s)

Maria Esther Fernandez Mostaza, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain)
[email protected]

Gabriela Irrazabal, CONICET (Argentina)
[email protected]

Lorena Nuñez Carrasco, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)
[email protected]

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The materiality of Death and Expressions of Mourning: Exploring Cultural Significance in comparative perspectives

Death only holds true when socially acknowledged. When the deceased body falls short of adequately representing who has passed away, it becomes challenging to establish the necessary symbolism that grants it a place within the funeral rite and, consequently, within society.

We invite submissions for a special issue exploring the materiality of death (the death body and practices around the death body, the burial space, and the objects to memorialize death) and the diverse expressions of mourning from different perspectives. The central focus is on highlighting the cultural importance and religious freedom inherent in all forms of expression and representation of grief and loss in various contexts and in diverse ways humans encounter death. This issue mainly focuses on the unique challenges faced by mourners dealing with bodies (or their absence) that do not conform to socially expected characteristics for displaying ritual manifestations.

The importance of the deceased body in the ritual context is undeniable. Nevertheless, there are occasions when the deceased's body is not accessible, raising the question: How can rituals be conducted in tragic or unconventional deaths? Furthermore, what can be done for bodies that fail to represent those who have died under circumstances of exclusion?

We welcome scholarly contributions that critically examine the multifaceted dimensions of the materiality of death and the expressions of mourning in these areas of interest, such as:

  • Comparative studies on mourning practices across different cultures, religions and social contexts;
  • Intersectionality of mourning experiences and social identities;
  • The role of objects and practices within funeral rites;
  • Unconventional deaths, unconventional circumstances: Ritual adaptations and innovations in the face of unconventional deaths or unconventional circumstances surrounding bereaved communities;
  • When the dead body is absent: Symbolic representations and alternative forms of mourning in the absence of the deceased body;
  • Ethical considerations surrounding death studies, mourning rituals, and cultural diversity.

Submission Instructions

We encourage interdisciplinary perspectives and diverse methodological approaches.

We invite to present Full-length research articles or reviews of the literature and brief reports.

  • Should be written with the following elements in the following order: title page; abstract; keywords; main text introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion; acknowledgments; declaration of interest statement; references; appendices (as appropriate); table(s) with caption(s) (on individual pages); figures; figure captions (as a list).
  • Should contain an unstructured abstract of 150 words.
  • Should contain between 3 and 5 keywords, including information on choosing a title and search engine optimization.

All papers will undergo a rigorous peer-review process to ensure the highest scholarly standards.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article