Making Lives in the Presence of Death I

Type: Virtual Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM (PST)
Room: Virtual 39
Organizers: Patricia Lopez, Abigail Neely
Chairs: Patricia Lopez

Call for Submissions

We need one more paper for this session. We are open to papers from around the world (and beyond) and from any period. We invite empirical and / or theoretical papers that may include, but are not limited to:

How do race, class, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, nationality, status shape death and expectations of life?
What are the relationships between climate change and climate protests and life and death?
What can thinking about individual death and mass extinction teach us about living and dying?
How do statistics about death and dying (e.g., DALYs,YLD, life expectancy, etc.) inform the ways in which we come to understand life, itself?
What does thinking about questions of decolonization and indigenous sovereignty as questions of life and death teach us?
What does it mean to live and die in different places in the global afterlives of slavery?
What might a “theory of death” look like beyond biopolitics and necropolitics?
How are life and death connected in the shadow of armed conflict?
What do social movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #NoDAPL teach us about state violence, life, and death?
What do social movements reveal about the possibilities of living otherwise in the face of ubiquitous death?
What role has political violence played in life and death across time and space?
How can we trouble the divide between life and death (e.g. ancestors, afterlives, reincarnation, etc.)?
What might death offer us in imagining worlds otherwise, of creating different possibilities of life and living?


We live in a moment where death is ubiquitous. From climate disaster and mass extinction to the possibility of nuclear war to inhumane border detention centers to extrajudicial killings of black and brown people to recognized and unrecognized armed conflicts around the globe, life in late liberalism exists in the shadow of death (Sharp and Taylor 2016).

Death and dying have been framed as ‘universal’ experiences in the continuum of life and living (cf: Euripides; Socrates; etc.). Yet, death, too, is heavily marked by differential circumstances, both for those who die and those who continue to live (Hartman 1997; Povinelli 2011; Maddrell and Sidaway 2016). In this session. we ask, what can an examination of death across different geographies and temporalities teach us about life and living (Rifkin 2017; Moten 2012)? And further, what can an examination of life and living in the face of death teach us about death (Lorde 1988)?

This session focuses on the relationships between -- the copresence of -- life and death to think about geography in new ways. To do so, we ask: How we make sense of the many different approaches to precarity and the spectre of premature death--from political mobilization (#BlackLivesMatter, #NoDAPL, Climate Protestors, etc.) to resigned acceptance (resignation to or presumed inevitability of contracting HIV among MSM) to shock and disbelief. How do the living make a life in the wake of death (Sharpe 2016)? Put differently, what happens when we think about life as always in the presence of differential death (Butler 2009)? What kind of lives can be lived under these circumstances (Ahmed 2017; hooks 2000)?


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Katharine Hall*, Queen Mary University of London, Concepts of Life and Violence in the 1985 Bombing of MOVE 15 1:30 PM
Presenter Nari Senanayake*, University of Kentucky, “We are the living dead,” or; the precarious stabilization of liminal life in the presence of CKDu 15 1:45 PM
Presenter Emily Mitchell-Eaton*, Williams College, Teaching “Dying in Diaspora”: Feminist Pedagogies, Politics, and Ethics in the Classroom 15 2:00 PM
Presenter Priscilla McCutcheon*, University of Kentucky, “We’re Always Expected to Forgive:” Forgiveness as a Reaction to State Violence and Hate Crimes against Black People 15 2:15 PM
Presenter Max Counter*, Grand Valley State University, Spatial Ambiguity and Geographies of Enforced Disappearance in Colombia 15 2:30 PM

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