Second Call for Papers – Decay, Disease, Death

International Conference on Disease, Death, Decay in Literatures, Cultures, and Language

University of Opole,

26-28 September 2016

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Prof. Tadeusz Sławek  (University of Silesia, Katowice)

Prof. Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)

Prof. Jacek Fabiszak (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań)

Our conference provides a platform to reflect upon themes that address, but are not restricted to:

  • Representations of disease, death and decay in literature and the media
  • Cultural and religious perspectives on terminal disease, death and the afterlife
  • Narratives of apocalypse and demise
  • Narratives of death and resurrection
  • Disease as narrative
  • Travel and disease
  • Dystopian visions of humanity’s breakup and destruction
  • Rituals of cleansing, passage and mourning
  • Rhetoric of commemoration
  • Atonement as a cultural motif
  • Pandemic and Armageddon in literature, film, and the news
  • Philosophical and ethical approaches to death disease and decay
  • Communicating about disease and death in private and institutional settings
  • Metaphors mitigating taboos related to disease, degeneration and death
  • Coping with pain, aging and illness
  • The medicalization of popular culture
  • Panaceas, self-help and therapies
  • Conceptions of honorable deaths
  • The significance of ghosts, haunting and spirits in literature
  • Zombies and the undead

Because Disease, death and decay can also be associated with language change, we plan to arrange a separate linguistic panel. Languages influence one another, and such interaction can be perceived as both a blessing and a curse –  a disease which threatens language’s purity. Some may even talk about language decay: “Tongues, like governments, have a natural tendency to degeneration” (Johnson Samuel, 1755)

Thus, we would like to invite papers that address the topic from the linguistic perspective and discuss the notion of:

  • Language death
  • Language attrition
  • Language endangerment and revitalisation

We would also like to provide a platform for the discussion of current research within studies of

  • semantics,
  • metaphor and metonymy,
  • discursive analysis,
  • anthropological linguistics

For those scholars unafraid of death, disease and decay in its various aspects or guises and interested in participating:

Please send us an abstract (not exceeding 300 words, including the title, your professional affiliation, e-mail address, phone number and audio-video requirements) by April 30, 2016, to

The language of the conference will be English. The time allotted for individual papers will be twenty minutes with an additional ten minutes for discussion. We plan to publish the papers delivered at the conference in a peer-reviewed post-conference volume (after receiving positive review).

 Conference participation fees:

The standard participation fee is PLN 450, or €110and PLN 350 or €75 for postgraduate students

This fee includes conference proceedings and daytime refreshments. Accommodation is not included in the conference fee.

Organizing Committee:

Dr Katarzyna Buczek
Dr Tadeusz Lewandowski
Dr Katarzyna Molek-Kozakowska
Mr Aleksandra Krajewska
Dr Stankomir Nicieja
Prof. Ryszard W. Wolny
For additional information please do not hesitate to contact us!