Of City Spaces and Graveyards: A Pictorial Reading (Panel / Virtual)

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
PAMLA (Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association)
contact email: 

Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA) Conference 2021

Thursday, November 11, 2021 to Sunday, November 14, 2021


Hosted by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Conference Theme: 



Special Session:

Of City Spaces and Graveyards: A Pictorial Reading



Graveyards have been integral to the structuring and ethos of city spaces. With beautiful landscapes and monuments, burial spaces have come to serve not only those in mourning, but also those who seek relaxation and an escape from the drudgery of city life. This virtual panel, through paintings, photographs, and contemporary images of burial sites, aims at tracing the significance of such spaces within the city. It is also an attempt at understanding how pictorial representations of such landscapes can be reflective of the socio-cultural dynamics of a given place and time.

This virtual (online) session will analyze the aesthetics of burial landscapes and the ways in which they have changed over time. Today, a significant number of popular TV shows are dominated by striking images of graveyards such that the event of death, with much allure and thrill, has infiltrated our minds and domestic spaces. The recurrent portrayal of burial spaces within the domain of popular culture, has prompted a growing interest to read and understand these sites as integral components of city planning. Therefore, the panel will aim at understanding the cultural phenomenon that burials spaces have come to be. As a space that brings together the living and the dead, how has the graveyard evolved in its physical semblance would be a question around which the session will pivot. Furthermore, as more and more people opt for dark tourism sites, cemetery visits and tours are being perceived and promoted as ways to relax as well as reconnect with cultural history and heritage.

It is from this point of view that this panel intends to open up a discourse on confronting spaces of the dead in the hopes of engaging with some of the primal emotions humans experience when negotiating with death. The larger idea is to help participants and potential Death Studies enthusiasts explore the space occupied by the dead in urban spaces and in effect, comment on the changing human attitudes toward death and dying. 

We hope that a diverse linguistic and cultural audience can weave together narratives, tales, legends, and myths pertaining to death and dying to inform our contemporary engrossment with graveyards, corpses, and the macabre.



Feel free to submit your abstracts via https://pamla.ballastacademic.com/Home/S/18143, and please contact us, Dr Devaleena Kundu (kundudevaleena@gmail.com) and Abjy P Kurian (abjy16.08@gmail.com) with any questions or concerns about our special session.

We look forward to your submissions.