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Call for content: Narratives of Death, Grief and Loss during Covid-19

Close up of a woman's face. She is wearing a surgical mask and staring into the distance. A tear is running down her face. The current pandemic has brought death and grief to the forefront of the news and people’s daily experiences. A team of academics from the Faculty of WELS are creating a book, to capture first-hand accounts of loss that reflect the things which have challenged us, and those which have helped us to cope, and are inviting submissions from the OU family.

Dr Sharon Mallon said “A year in, and with the crisis ongoing, we feel it is a timely moment to capture individual and collective experiences of death and loss that have taken place during the pandemic and to reflect on how it has impacted the ways in which we make sense of dying and bereavement.”

The series of short essays and reflections aims to showcase the diverse, lived experience of OU students, alumni and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the themes of death, dying, bereavement, grief and loss. Selected entries will feature in a book to be published by the OU in late 2021.

Dr Erica Borgstrom explains further “We know many people have been impacted by death and grief during the past year. We wanted to create a space for people to collectively share their stories, to learn from each other and to remind each other that they are not alone.”

The project is funded by the WELS School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, and will be edited by Dr Erica Borgstrom and Dr Sharon Mallon, with the support of Dr Michelle Lawson (all WELS).
Queries and submission should be sent to the Death and Dying team email by midday Wednesday 10 March 2021.


Submission details

Essays can include, but are not limited to:

  • personal narratives of your lived experience of death, grief, loss and/or bereavement during the pandemic (these can be either COVID-related or not, it can also include non-human death e.g. pet or other types of loss);
  • reflections on professional or societal impacts in relation to dying, death or grief during the pandemic;
  • short academic essays relating theory to death, grief and loss during the pandemic;
  • short non-fiction pieces that incorporate any of the themes of the collection.

Entries should be up to 1500 words long, including references if appropriate. Shorter entries are also welcomed. Entries should include a short author biography at the bottom of the essay (not included in the word count). The biography should tell us a bit about you, where you’re from, and if you are an OU student, staff or alumni.

Entries should be emailed as Word document attachments to the Death and Dying team email, by midday Wednesday 10 March 2021. 

Authors will be notified by mid-Spring if their submission has been selected.

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