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Add your Insight

Manuscript deadline
04 June 2021

Cover image - Mortality


Special Issue Editor(s)

Professor Sara Knox, Western Sydney University
[email protected]

Dr Julie Rugg, University of York
[email protected]

Professor Michael Ashby, Tasmania Health Service and University of Tasmania
[email protected]

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The Covid-19 pandemic is the first 21st century global event in which the medical and social modes of mortality takes a central place. Death scholarship is uniquely able to offer studied, robust and rich perspectives on this still-unfolding global event in the broader context of the challenge to the dying experience, and to death and mourning practices, of modern pandemics. Acknowledging the urgency of the present moment, and its historical resonance, Mortality is calling for papers on the subject of pandemics for a special issue to be published in 2022. The special issue will consider the ways in which recent events might broaden our understanding of how societies deal with dying, death, the dead, bereavement and commemoration.

The collection will explore the phenomenon of the modern pandemic, framed across disciplines and across cultures, with an emphasis on research that is theoretically supported, and that has a clearly framed research method. The special issue will focus on pandemics more broadly and is not limited to discussions of Covid-19.

Possible subjects for exploration are:

  • Historic reflections: whether we learn (or not) from past epidemics on how to deal with death and the dying;
  • The disruption and reinvention of death ritual
  • Death and the media
  • The digital cultures of contemporary pandemic death, dying and mourning
  • The thanatopolitics of pandemic
  • The strategic management of non-medical interventions in pandemic situations: the invisible 'front line' of funeral directors and cemetery/crematorium managers
  • Coping with fear and dread in institutional settings
  • Marginalised deaths in pandemic situations: where does a 'normal' death sit when there's an emergency?
  • The deathly spaces of quarantine / places of isolation (i.e. cruise ships, quarantine islands, isolation facilities)
  • Pandemics and the metaphor of war: the rhetoric of heroic sacrifice
  • Social justice, global inequalities and mortality
  • Defining risk: popular and expert knowledge
  • Delivering palliative care in emergency situations: what principles prevail when deaths overwhelm resources
  • Medical staff managing their own/their family's fear of contagion and death
  • The mortal costs of isolation and lockdown (suicide, human-animal interdependence and the impact of pet death, crisis dying in aged care)

Looking to Publish your Research?

We aim to make publishing with Taylor & Francis a rewarding experience for all our authors. Please visit our Author Services website for more information and guidance, and do contact us if there is anything we can help with!

Submission Instructions

We will be running a two-stage abstract process, to allow contributors to reflect the on-going nature of the crisis and recognising that many research projects may not yet have started/have not yet resolved early findings.

Initial abstracts should be up to 250 words and include all author names and 4-5 keywords. Please indicate if your abstract is based on a new, ongoing or finished project. Authors will be informed of the outcome of their abstract in October 2020, and if selected, will be invited to submit a revised abstract in January 2021 after which a final selection will be made.

Timescale and deadlines:

11 September 2020 – submission of initial abstracts deadline

October 2020 – outcome of selection communicated to all authors

7 January 2021 – deadline for revised abstracts for invited authors

Early June 2021 – full-length articles due for invited authors

All enquires and abstracts should be submitted to Prof Sara Knox ([email protected]) and Dr Julie Rugg ([email protected]).

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article