When is Death?

death figure on clock
Detail of 17th century figure on the 15th century Prague Astronomical Clock (with 20th century anti-pigeon netting). (image: Wikipedia)
College Court, University of Leicester

16-18 April 2015

People tend to instinctively think of death as something that is certain and absolute, a one-way journey away from the world of the living.

Where people in the medieval period saw Death striking the hour in public clocks, people in the twenty-first century can now log on to The Death Clock, which estimates our remaining time alive – down to the hours, minutes and seconds.

Can we think of death as a becoming rather than an ending? Whether we think of death as an event, as a state, or as a movement somewhere else, placing death in time exposes it as something that is uncertain in a whole range of ways. Timing death, in this understanding, must involve the recognition that a person can die differently according to different chronologies.

Keynote speakers

  • Professor Douglas Davies
  • Professor Thomas W Laqueur
  • Dr John Robb
  • Professor Sarah Ferber
  • Jonathan Rée
  • Dr Julie-Marie Strange
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