Issue 158 of Études sur la Mort




Short title of the issue : MOURIR EN MIGRATION


Marie-Frédérique Bacqué, University of Strasbourg, editor-in-chief of Études sur la Mort

Rachid Oulahal, University of La Réunion, guest coordinator of the issue « Dying in Migration”

Christina Alexopoulos de Girard, INALCO, University of Angers, member of the editorial board of Études sur la Mort

Gesine Sturm, University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, guest coordinator of the issue « Dying in migration

Filipe Soto Galindo, University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, guest coordinator of the issue « Dying in migration


We invite you to read the call for papers for issue 158.


The economic, ecological, political and armed crises of the last few years have put a significant number of people on the path of migration and exile, with reception policies and perspectives that vary from one country to another. The occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic is a new modality of crisis, this time sanitary, which affects mobility and the ways of living migration and exile. The different phases of confinement, border closures, and travel restrictions have shown how complex a journey between countries becomes in times of crisis, producing a displacement of both the living and the dead.

For this special issue of the journal Death Studies, we will address the question of death in migration or exile, particularly in times of crisis, from several points of view.

Agony or death in migration raises the question of the return to the country of origin, a return dreamed of during migration or the desire to spend the end of one’s life in the country of origin. They also raise the question of funeral practices, associated rites, and the place of burial. The place of culture remains central. What effects can thinking about one’s own death have on the intercultural experience of a person in migration or exile?

Dying in migration in times of crisis calls into question the process of mourning but also the placement and displacement of bodies. This special issue also questions the place of dead bodies in migration or exile in order to understand whether their destination (temporary or final) constitutes a hindrance or, on the contrary, a form of resilience in the intercultural experience of the living who remain.

Three types of manuscript proposals are included in this special issue


1-The process of mourning in migration in times of crisis

The proposals will address the subjective experience of the loss of a loved one when the context of migration and crisis does not allow for preparation for the end of life and the finitude of the body. The questions of funeral practices, associated rites, and the place of burial of the dead body in migration will be addressed here.

Like any other crisis, the health crisis linked to the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our relationship to death, and raises, in a migratory situation, a certain number of questions: how to think about funerals and death rites in a period of reduced mobility? How are mourning processes affected by the impossibility of attending funerals?

The proposals for articles could also analyze the facilitations of the mourning process despite a context of migration and crisis.


2-Placements and displacements of dead bodies in migration in times of crisis: what are the psychic, social and cultural consequences of the place of the lifeless body?

Death can occur at any moment of the migratory journey. If living bodies move, so do dead bodies in migration. What are their trajectories?

What effects does the place of the dead body (buried, disappeared, repatriated…) have on the people and groups that survive it? In the context of migration, does the choice of placement of the body in the host country or its repatriation to the country of origin intervene in the identity, psychic, social or cultural development of descendants?

Is the placement or displacement really a choice? How is it experienced by the family and friends who have migrated but also by those who have remained in the country of origin?


3-A policy of death for migrants and people in exile?

What is the impact of migration policies on the subjectivity of the actors and their groups of belonging in relation to death? The proposals will explore the possible links between political intentionality and death in migration. Can death be thought of when political choices are made on the side of criminalization, persecution or even elimination of people in exile? Beyond that, what analyses and observations can be made of the host civil society regarding to these migration policies and these morals?


The proposed articles will analyze death in its materiality induced by dissuasive mortifying policies marked by movements of projection, cleavage, and massive denial. Death will also be apprehended as a mental construction and psychic reality in which people in exile find themselves assigned as « living dead ». The articles will address the fear of dying in deportation when one is placed in an Administrative Detention Center, the desire to die to get it over with after several days of wandering or extreme suffering, or even the idea of already being among the dead after experiences of torture, war, or genocide… Will certain deaths become paradigmatic of the practices of exclusion, domination and extreme fragility that govern the relationship of the biopolitical to the body of exiles?



– August 2021: call for papers with a request for manuscripts to be submitted before December 30, 2021. The format of the proposal should follow the recommendations to authors of the journal Études sur la Mort.

– March 1, 2022: Return of reviews to authors

– August 30, 2022: Deadline for submission of final versions of articles

– Delivery to publisher October 15, 2022

– Delivery to the public in November 2022


Presentation of the journal

Etudes sur la Mort receives thematic articles but can also publish articles of all kinds. These articles are about death and dying, previously grouped under the name thanatology. Death studies is typically transdisciplinary. Articles can be sociological, anthropological, psychological, psychoanalytical, epidemiological, forensic, economic, environmental, philosophical, religious, etc. Our discipline, Death Studies, receives all articles intended for the journal Études sur la Mort and sends them to its editorial board for a first opinion, then to two anonymous experts who analyze the proposed article by issuing their opinion using an imposed reading grid. After corrections, the accepted article is published in the next issue, or the thematic issue concerned. Recommendations to authors follow APA standards (see below). Thank you for your interest in Death Studies.

More information


Submission of proposals

All manuscript proposals should be emailed by December 30, 2021 to and