Figurations of Afterlife/Afterdeath in East and West

Conference in Delhi

Venue: India Habitat Centre, Maple Conference Room, Lodi Road, New-Delhi -110003

Concept: Sudhir Kakar, Katharina Poggendorf-Kakar, Günter Blamberger

Contact: Amisha Jain, Christine Thewes


In cooperation with the University of Cologne Office in Delhi, the Vikram Sarabhai Foundation and the School of International Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University

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Any assignment of meaning to earthly existence and to notions of worldly and otherworldly salvation rests on that deepest and most fundamental uncertainty of our human existence: the awareness of our mortality. How do literature and the arts help us cope with this knowledge of death?

The exploration of such figurations (Greek: morphómata) of death, in all their national and cultural diversity, is one of the core areas of inquiry at the Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies of the University of Cologne, supported by an international and interdisciplinary selection of Fellows.

In keeping with the main focus of Morphomata, the presentations by scholars from Germany and India would concentrate on case studies in contemporary literature and art which have tended not only to expand but also to transcend the realm of experience, to represent the unrepresentable, to advance into areas beyond all rational analysis, beyond the borderline at which philosophical or scientific explanations may fail.


Sudhir Kakar (Goa): Death and Dying in the Poems of Rabindranath Tagore

Günter Blamberger (Cologne): Threshold- Images between Life and Death in Literature and Film

Vijay Mishra (Perth): Aftereath and the Bollywood Gothic Noir

Georg Braungart (Tübingen): The Afterlife of the Dead in this World: Ghosts, Art, and Poetry in German Modernism

Jonardon Ganeri (Seoul) Bhavanga: Living between Deaths

Martin Roussel (Cologne) To Bear Someone - Living on, on Living, and The Idea of Death

Katharina Poggendorf-Kakar (Goa): Fasting to Death in Jaina Tradition

Harish Trivedi (Delhi): Grateful to Life and Death

Friedrich Vollhardt (Munich): The Afterworld as a Site of Punishment. Imagining Hell in European Literature

Arindam Chakrabarti (Manoa): Dreams, Deaths and Deaths within Dreams

Oliver Krüger (Fribourg): The Quest for Immortality as a Technical Problem. The Visions of Posthumanism

Naman Ahuja (Dehli): Death and Afertlife in Ancient Indian Art