Conference: An Honourable Death

An Honourable Death: a doctoral and ECR conference

Birkbeck, University of London

Saturday 9th May, 2015, 9.15am – 5.15pm 

A one day multi-disciplinary conference, funded by Birkbeck, University of London

The conference explores where and when a positive value has been placed on dying and death. How and why are certain ways of dying admired or even desired? In the name of religion, ideology, nation or emotion, some people have accepted or even sought death. In some instances, the ultimate sacrifice of life is thought to serve the greater social good; such deaths may be seen as honourable, noble and altruistic. Yet placing a positive value on death can be deeply problematic; these deaths are also condemned and regretted. This conference explores the many ways honourable deaths may be lamented, deplored, praised or embraced.


Keynote : Dr Christian Goeschel (Manchester), author of Suicide in Nazi Germany(Oxford, 2009), will speak on ‘Honour, Suicide, and Defeat in Nazi Germany’


Session 1a: Texts – Poetics 

Session 1b: Biographies 

Session 2a: Texts – Testimonials , chaired by Dr Stephen Banks (Reading)

Session 2b: Cultures 

Session 3a: Ethics & Ideas , chaired by Dr Sean Brady (Birkbeck)

Session 3b: Rituals 

 Closing Remarks

  • Dr. Amber Jacobs (Birkbeck), author of On Matricide: Myth, Psychoanalysis and the law of the mother (New York, 2007)
  • Professor Lynne Segal (Birkbeck), author of Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing (London & New York  2013)

To see the full programme, more information and to book places, please visit our website:
Please book by Monday 27 April, 2015


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