5 May 2007 - 6 May 2007 All day CRASSH


Death in African History: an Interdisciplinary Conference
5-6 May 2007
Seminar Room, CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge

Professor Megan Vaughan (Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History, University of Cambridge)

Dr Rebekah Lee (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Death and the management of death are inescapable subjects in much of present-day Africa. There is no doubt that present circumstances such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic make this topic all the more important and urgent. In East, Central and Southern Africa communities mourn daily the untimely deaths of the victims of HIV/AIDS, older people complain that there will be no-one left to bury them, and children become experts at nursing their dying parents. However, there have been few opportunities for a comprehensive, historically-located examination of this subject.

This international conference seeks to gather new perspectives and methods in the study of death in Africa. In particular, it brings together the experiences of scholars and practitioners currently engaged in examining how communities in Africa understand and manage the process of, and practices surrounding, death. Participants are drawn from a range of academic fields including historical demography, history, social anthropology, religious studies, archaeology, sociology, policy studies, and development. The panels address themes such as emerging cultures of death; colonial encounters; violence, ritual and memory; demography and mortality; social policy and HIV/AIDS deaths; death industries and globalisation. An international line-up of speakers includes: Florence Bernault, Stephen Ellis, David Killingray, Alinah Segobye, Felicitas Becker, Julie Livingstone, and Murray Last.

Further information can be found at Death in Africa Project.

This conference has been organised with support from the AHRC.


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk