This conference, which is one of the outputs of the HERA UP-funded project DEEPDEAD (Deploying the Dead: Artefacts and Human Bodies in Socio-Cultural Transformations), explores the uses and meanings of dead bodies, objects and burial spaces over long periods of time. As this topic is most fruitfully approached from a wide range of perspectives, Beyond Death includes contributions from the fields of archaeology, literary studies, social and physical anthropology, and history. This conference raises the following questions: How is it that the dead become flashpoints of controversy, interest, and identity for the living? How have interactions with dead bodies and related artefacts been used in different time periods and cultures to underwrite, rewrite, or overturn narratives of national or community origin? How and why do material remains come to embody the past in the present, collapsing essential distinctions in temporality?
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