Program Online: ASL Graduate Conference "Death and Dying in American Culture"

The ASL MA-Level Graduate Student Conference “Death and Dying in American Culture” is happy to announce that our conference program is now available on our website.

Our conference seeks to explore diverse representations and conceptions of death as well as investigate social, cultural, and political perspectives on the topic. In recent years, popular TV series such as CSI, Bones, Dexter, and Game of Thrones have exposed viewers to high numbers of dead bodies per episode, yet in the news media, it remains largely taboo to depict the death and dying of Americans. From fallen soldiers to shooting victims, news media reduce the dead to symbolic representations in order to avoid dealing with the finality and omnipresence of death. However, in current scholarly discourse, books such as Drop Dead Gorgeous: Representations of Corpses in American TV Shows (2011) by Tina Weber, and Death, American Style: A Cultural History of Dying in America (2013) by Lawrence R. Samuel investigate death and dying from a sociological and cultural perspective. As American demographics shift toward an older population, social and political institutions are also increasingly forced to deal with death and dying. The prevalence of “Death and Dying in American Culture,” and society’s reluctance to confront it is a phenomenon that is fascinating and provides a particularly fertile subject for discussion.

We are looking forward to the keynote lecture by Dr. Tina Weber (TU Berlin) entitled “The Civilised Corpse - Shame and Repugnance in the Face of Death,” to presentations by ten ambitious young scholars from different countries, and to the workshop “Morbidity and Death” with ASL faculty member Dr. Katja Schmieder.

The conference fee is 3 Euros for the two days. If you are interested in attending the conference, we would kindly ask you to register until March 14 via email


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