Call for papers: Beyond the Negativity of Death: Towards a New Necropolitics

Dear Colleagues, At least since Ernest Becker’s 1970s anthropological classic, The Denial of Death, but with precedents from Epicurus to Freud, death has been presented as the ultimate fact about the human condition, which while certainly not positive in its own right, only becomes more negative through its denial. This Special Issue is dedicated to denying the two assumptions in this line of thought: (1) that death is the negation of life; (2) that the terms of death are non-negotiable. In this respect, the Special Issue will develop positive, empowering attitudes toward death, perhaps even an ‘economy of death’, removing the sense of absoluteness that still surrounds the topic.

  • Death as the ultimate challenge for science to overcome to prove humanity’s supremacy: longevity medicine, cryonics.
  • Death as a moment in a process of rejuvenation or resurrection—a re-booting of life.
  • Benefits to reputation from either dying early or long ago: i.e., how absence makes the heart grow fonder.
  • Death as an opportunity for a new life, say, in a ‘digital afterlife’.
  • Death as a hypothetical perspective for regarding the world: i.e., the standpoint of quasi-human spiritual entities who no longer have a material investment in what they observe.
  • Death as an incentive for productivity in life: i.e., optimizing personal resources in a finite space and time to leave the greatest legacy.
  • Death as an occasion for the individual to validate the collective, say, through self-sacrifice.
  • Death as a normal and arguably even progressive feature of experimentation and innovation: e.g., the role of mutation and selection in evolution, the use of extreme experience to define the limits of life.
  • Models from the non-human world for adopting a positive attitude toward death: e.g., planned obsolescence, recycling.

Theoretical, empirical, and practice-based studies are welcomed, from any disciplinary or methodological perspective. Prof. Steve Fuller Dr. Emilie Whitaker Guest Editor Submission Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website. Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI. Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

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