Call for Papers for Special Issue: Everyday Photography and Mourning in the 21st Century

This special issue of photographies aims to shed light on the interplay between everyday photography and mourning in the 21st century. This photographies issue will be guest edited by POEM Supervisor Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert and POEM Fellow Lorenz Widmaier.

Photography has been used for mourning practices since its inception. While there is research that investigates the role of analogue photography in mourning in the 19th and 20th centuries, less has been written about the role of the digital, networked image in mourning practices. The advent of digital technology in everyday life, the constant availability of a camera, has not only changed how and how often we take photographs but altered the kind of photographs we take. The digital shift in photography has been extensively documented and debated in academic literature, but its impact on mourning practices has remained largely unaddressed. This special issue aims to fill this gap in the literature.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • digital, photographic practices in mourning and grief
  • sharing photographs online for joint mourning
  • digital photographic legacies and their role in mourning
  • how selfies are perceived in mourning
  •  the contemporary use of photographs at funerals
  • recent post-mortem photography
  • culturally specific practices or shifts in mourning photography
  • religion and photographic mourning practices
  • artistic interpretations of mourning through personal photography
  • collecting everyday photographs connected to mourning by memory forming institutions 
    (museums, libraries, and archives)
  • historical aspects and their impact today: the evolution of photographic mourning
  • legal and ethical issues

We seek proposals for contributions, critical interpretations of the subject, and projects that integrate photographs into the publication to facilitate a visual understanding of the subject. We also welcome visual essays.


  • Submission deadline: November 1, 2021
  • Notification of acceptance: November 15, 2021
  • Full paper or photographic piece deadline: March 1, 2022


  • for submitting paper proposals a 500-word abstract (including references) and a short bio for each author (up to 70 words each) can be sent please send to both emails:
  • selected authors will be notified by November 15, 2021 and will be expected to deliver a full paper (around 6000 words long) or a photographic piece, max. 6/8 pages, by March 1st 2022. All papers will be subject to peer review
  • acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication

You can find the full Call for Papers here.


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POEM Uni Hamburg

Concepts, strategies and media infrastructures for envisioning socially inclusive potential futures of European Societies through culture.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 764859.