Handbook of Language and Death

This post is a call for chapters for Handbook of Language and Death, a volume prepared for publication with Bloomsbury Linguistics, edited by Justyna Ziółkowska and myself.

Handbook of Language and Death


 Editors: Dariusz Galasiński & Justyna Ziółkowska

 The Handbook is a single-volume, edited work of reference, mainly aimed at a scholarly market. The book will present a research-based overview of the current state of research exploring the intersection of language and death. The main aim of the book is to present a broad picture of the topic, covering key themes and approaches. Potential approaches include (but are not limited to): discourse analysis (including Conversation Analysis, CDA/CDS, narrative or thematic analyses), linguistic pragmatics, linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, multimodal analysis. Possible topics may involve critical reflections on discourses dealing with:

  • dying (e.g. illness, VSED i.e. voluntary stopping of eating and drinking);
  • natural deaths (e.g. illness, transplantation, old age);
  • suicide
  • accidental death and other-inflicted death (e.g. homicide).
  • bereavement
  • representations of death.

The list is not exclusive, and the topics can overlap with each other, as can the academic contexts in which they will be seen.

Ideally, the volume will also have an interdisciplinary component where the value and/or relevance of research into language and death to other disciplines (both within and outside linguistics) is discussed. Relevant ‘other’ disciplines include (but are not limited to) anthropology, medicine, psychology or sociology. However, all interdisciplinary chapters must be firmly focused on language/discourse.

The Handbook is intended to present an overview of the methodologies, current debates, history and future of research exploring the intersection of language and death. It is primarily a scholarly work (though some chapters may also reflect professional/practitioner interests), it is also intended as to appeal to graduate students and senior-year undergraduates. The volume will be international in the scope of its scholarship and coverage; its aim is for the Handbook to effectively ‘map’ this area of research.

Chapters should all follow a general two-part structure, beginning with an overview of research/topics/debates followed by a part dedicated to ‘new research’ in the topic at hand.


 The Handbook will be between 20 and 25 chapters (including an introduction and glossary of key terms). Each chapter should be about 8-10,000 words (inclusive of all notes & references).

Key deadlines

  • Abstract proposals: mid-December 2020
  • Selection and contacting contributors end of February/beginning of March 2021
  • Deadline for chapters: end of July 2021
  • Peer review: autumn 2021
  • Revisions: spring 2022
  • Submission: June 2022
  • Publication: early 2023

Notes on contributions

 As this is a work of reference, all contributions should be analytical/critical rather than polemical. Clarity of expression is important. Writing with the specific intention of accessibility will help. Contributors should seek to include as wide a range of international material in their chapters as possible. They should use a range of examples/locations and avoid excessive geographical/ethnocentric bias in the literature covered.

Editors’ contacts

Dariusz Galasiński dariusz.galasinski@icloud.com

Justyna Ziółkowska jziolkowska@swps.edu.pl



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