Monday 31st October – Wednesday 2nd November 2011
Hotel Angelo, Prague, Czech Republic
Call for Papers
Suicide, the deliberate and intentional act of ending one’s life, is an assault on our ideas of what living is about. Whether we believe that we have the right to end our own life because we no longer wish to live, or that suicide is never morally permissible, the fact that people can arrange their deaths and that some do, challenges us to think about the nature of life, and of death.
Suicide is a global problem. For some people it seems like a sensible solution to the problems of living, or at least it seems to them that in some circumstances, it can be a rational and morally acceptable thing to kill oneself. To others this seems absurd because, although suicide may solve the problems that the suicider has been experiencing, it does so at the expense of their experiencing anything at all. What’s more, it does so at the expense of friends, loved ones, and others who are affected, including those who have to deal practically with its aftermath.
At the inaugural conference of Making Sense Of: Suicide, we had many vigorous discussions, which addressed suicide from a wide range of perspectives, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychiatry and the law. Abstracts are now invited for Making Sense Of: Suicide 2, for individual contributions or for symposia of three papers. They should be written in simple language and for individual contributions should be no longer than 250 words, while for symposia they should include a 150 word overview for each contribution and a 200 word overview for the whole session. (Please take these word limits seriously)
Abstracts are especially welcomed that take seriously the ways in which thinking about and responding to the human act of suicide may be enhanced by viewing it from more than one disciplinary perspective. They may address a wide range of topics which are hinted at by following questions:
* Is all deliberate self killing, suicide? Is suicide always about the desire to be dead? Or does it sometimes have other meanings? Is suicide always fatal?
* What’s the point of suicide? (Why do people do it?) Is suicide ever a rational choice? Can suicide be an act of love? Is it ever an act of hate?
* Why do people suicide in different ways? What explains the differences in suicide rate, in different populations? How can we best reduce the rate of suicide?
* Is suicide harmful, and if so, who does it harm – the suicider; his friends and relatives; onlookers and those who become involved in his death or in its aftermath? How are people affected by the suicide of someone they knew or loved? Does it matter how well they knew him?
* How does suicide relate to other apparently similar human acts, such as euthanasia and self harm? Is ‘attempted suicide’ always about the wish to die? Or is it sometimes about the atempt to change the world, or to escape from it for a time? Are euthanasia and assisted suicide the same? (If not, how do they differ?) Is it ever OK to assist another to die? Does the suicider’s motivations, intentions and wishes make a difference to whether it is OK to assist him in arranging his death?
* Is suicide ever a valid form of political protest? If a person kills himself to make a political point, is his death necessarily suicide? Is suicide bombing, really about suicide?
* Should the desire to suicide be regarded as an indication that one needs psychiatric or psychological treatment? Are all suicidal people, by definition, suffering with a mental illness? Or can suicide be the result of a rational choice? If so, in what circumstances is it rational to want to die?
* How is suicide addressed in literature, fine art, music, theatre and film? What, if anything, can clinicians learn from literary authors, including novelists, poets and playwrights; artists, musicians and directors in theatre and film?
Papers will also be considered on any related theme. Abstracts should be submitted by Friday 17th June 2011. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 23rd September 2011.
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract.
E-mails should be entitled: Suicide Abstract Submission
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
Network Founder and Leader, Inter-Disciplinary.Net,
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The conference is part of the Making Sense Of: series of research projects, which in turn belong to the Probing the Boundaries programmes of Inter-Disciplinary.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore discussions which are innovative and challenging. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume.
For further details about the project please visit
For further details about the conference please visit
Dr Rob Fisher
Priory House, 149B Wroslyn Road,
Freeland, Oxfordshire, OX29 8HR
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