[H-verkko] Artikkelipyyntö: Imago Mortis: Natural Disasters, Epidemics, Massacres, Genocides, the Holocaust, the Gulag

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Agricolan ilmoituksiin on lähetetty uusi artikkelipyyntö: 
Imago Mortis: Natural Disasters, Epidemics, Massacres, Genocides, the Holocaust, the Gulag

Brukenthal. Acta Musei XV. 5 – Brukenthalia, no. 10

Imago Mortis: Natural Disasters, Epidemics, Massacres, Genocides, the Holocaust, the Gulag

Philosophically speaking, Antiquity seemed to “dedramatize” death, which was constructed as a denial of the being and as a punishment for human weaknesses and errors. Nevertheless, mortality in the Middle Ages generated apparently insurmountable dread and a collective obsession with the end, due to scourges – plagues, particularly the Bubonic plague during the 14th century, wars, famines, natural disasters, a low life expectancy and a profound sense of perceiving life as a mere passage. Transposed in the imagery of the Apocalypse, fear of death was a dominant state, in spite of the official agents’ best efforts to relativize death and to turn it into a natural phenomenon, inescapable as such. The official Christian discourse about death and dying was focused on the image of eschatological death, of death as the only Gateway to the Last Judgement and to Eternity. In the historical reality, fear and terror, the imagery of popular Christianity prevailed. The attitudes and sensitivities towards death and dying materialized mainly in the repulsion and horror towards physical death and the inexorable decomposition of the “sinful human flesh”. Despite the insistence of the Christian discourse and subsequently of the scientific discourse (especially the thanatological one), illness and death have been considered results of sin in the collective perceptions – antechambers of punishing human flaws through the rigors of the Inferno.

Such a representation was simultaneously the result of the junction between the pre-Christian discourse and the Vulgate of the Christian theology of sin. The only “solace” laid in the “social justice” instituted by the “equalizing” and impartial death (see the iconography of the Danse Macabre, which illustrates this social representation of death in Western Europe, as well as in the continent’s Eastern peripheries, as a product of cultural contagion). The Renaissance, followed by dissemination of the Protestant discourse on death and the decrease of mortality rates in late pre-modernity, seemed to provide more chances for the accomplishment of individual eschatology. However, death has remained, even in those contexts, the referential system according to which life has been defined.

The historian Michel Vovelle asserted that death is a complex structure of phenomena, of civilizing acts (practices, beliefs, etc.), a fluctuating socio-cultural expression, in which the ways of dying and the imaginary of death are determined by the major evolutions of the social sphere, by its dynamics, by its successive stages of growth or impasse, including crises of conscience. In such a system of relations and levels, death and dying are “lived” through the interactions that occur between the palpable reality (economic and social institutions, demography, family) on the one hand, and the representations and discourses about death, on the other. Using similar contextualizations, Vovelle describes three levels of manifestation: “death that is suffered” (which refers to collective death as a historical phenomenon studied by demographers and investigated through the questioning of quantitative sources), “death that is lived” (more complex, as it implies the analysis of the “qualitative” sources, that is, of the iconography of death, the practices and beliefs related to the funeral moment, the imaginary of post-existence) and “the discourse on death” (which, in fact, involves the “encounter” and the intertwining of the discourses that a society produces with reference to death – the official, scholarly and popular religious discourses, the secular discourse, the literary and artistic discourses, the scientific discourse).

So far, the proposed topic has benefited of a well-defined theoretical position. The widening of the historian’s area of research, of his/her documentary base, the revolution of research methodologies through the promotion of the interdisciplinary approach have made possible the tackling of death as an object of cultural-historical investigation. First, the historians of collective mentalities carried out the quantitative evaluation of the phenomenon, then the qualitative evaluation. Furthermore, these approaches have offered a significant number of works published in a relatively short period of time. These works put forward stimulating ideas, generated by the nature of the new research topic, by the identification of historical sources and innovative methods of investigating both these recent sources and the classical quarries. Thus, in the last decades, two distinct methodological dimensions have emerged: the serial survey and the quantitative survey. The investigated sources – funeral practices, funeral homiletics, memoirs, wills, fiction writings, the funerary monument (of particular interest have been the epitaph and the specific art), the graveyard as cultural synthesis (and even institution) – have revealed particular sensitivities and manifestations of religiosity, aspects decided by the historical and cultural frameworks, as well as by the religious identity. Since the beginning of the 1970s, studies of historiography and cultural history, especially the French and Anglo-Saxon ones, have transcended the limitations of the iconographic approach of death, being concerned with the expansion of the sources of investigation and with the enrichment of methodological register through the applications of the trans-disciplinary discourse.

Throughout its institutionalized history, humanity has faced collective tragedies at times difficult to imagine. The one thing that impressed every time was the attitude towards the death of the Other, an attitude that ranged from indifference or morbid interest to compassion and altruism. Particularly in the 20th century we are surprised by the interplay between short- and long-term memory, as well as by the mystification, trivialization through routinizing, and negationism.

This research proposal takes into account the investigation of diaries, fiction, documentary and feature film, fine arts and photography, the historiographical imagery and the oral history interviews.

We are interested in investigating images of collective death, ”death that is lived”, the images of death during the major natural disasters and epidemics, from Antiquity to the present day, genocides previous to the Great War (and, implicitly, the extermination of several social movements), the Armenian Genocide, the Nanjing Massacre, the massacres during World War Two (Pogroms in Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Hungary; massacres in Lidice, Katyn, Ip and Treznea, the Siege of Leningrad, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings), as well as Mao Zedong’s “Cultural Revolution”, the Gulag, the Red Khmer’s terror, the civil war in Rwanda. We also intend to approach the topic of modern millennial fears (see the literature popularizing paranormal predictions and phenomena, the suicidal actions around the year 2000).

We welcome approaches of those episodes of natural disasters and inter-human conflicts that have resulted in the annihilation of peoples and civilizations in the name of a so-called superiority of culture and race. We are particularly interested in those imageries which seem to partly explain fatalism and axiological disbelief in humanity and progress.

Deadline for proposals of articles and studies: 30th of May, 2020.

Deadline for submission of accepted articles: 1st of August, 2020.

Please send your contributions to: granceaela at gmail.com, mihaifulger at gmail.com,brukenthalia.journal at gmail.com,grajdian at hiroshima-u.ac, ancasiminamartin at gmail.com

Loyal to our tradition, we accept studies that develop fascinating cultural history topics, even if they are not concerned with the topic of this issue. We also accept reviews of new books and recent issues of specialized magazines.


General Instructions

1. The Brukenthal. Acta Musei – Brukenthalia scientific journal receives contributions under the form of unpublished research papers, review papers written in English. The field of interest is Cultural History. The accuracy of translation is the author’s responsibility.

2. The contributor should clearly state in a distinct document (To whom it may concern) that the submitted manuscript has not been published, submitted or accepted elsewhere and, in case of collective authorship, that all authors agree with the content and the submission of the manuscript.

3. The manuscript should be submitted as a single file in *.doc (Microsoft Word) format (or edited in Open Office) and shall contain: (1) to whom it may concern document, (2) manuscript, (3) list of illustrations and (4) tables (if required). Together with the document the authors should attach *.jpeg or *.tiff format illustrations (captions marked inside text).

4. The manuscript should not exceed 20 pages (bibliography included), written in Times New Romans (TNR), font size 11, justified, single row, 2 columns, A4 page format, 2 cm margins. The pages should not be numbered. The manuscript should contain an abstract and keywords in English and Romanian (Romanian translation will be provided by editors upon the request of the contributors).



The submitted manuscript should be arranged as follows: (1) title, (2) author’s name, (3) author’s affiliation and e-mail address, (4) abstract, (5) keywords, (6) manuscript, (7) references, (8) list of illustrations, (9) tables.

Title: The title should be concise, written in Times New Roman, size 11, in capitalized letters and centered. Authors: Two rows below the title, write the full name(s) of author(s) in TNR, size 11, font bold, centered. Affiliation: Write the affiliation(s), e-mail address in TNR, size 11, justified, below the author’s name.

Abstract: Two rows under the author’s name, 100 – 500 characters, no abbreviations or reference citations. The abstract represents a summary of the paper that refers to the method, the main results and conclusions. The text should be written in TNR, size 11. The sub-title “Abstract” will be written in bold letters.

The Romanian abstract has the same features. A translation of the title in Romanian should be added (bold).

Keywords: Five to six keywords should be given below the abstract, the English version first, followed by the Romanian translation.

Main text:

1. Please, follow the headings structure as shown below:

- Primary subtitles (Capitalize the beginning of the first word, bold and lower case, left)

- Secondary subtitles (Capitalize the beginning of the first word, italic and lower case, left)

- Other (Capitalize the beginning of the first word, lower case, left)

2. Italics should be used for terms or abbreviations in other languages “et al.”, “etc.”

3. Weights and measures should observe the International System of Units.

4. References citation:

a) References are cited in the text by the last name of the author and the year of publication (Luca, 1998). In the case of a citation of a paragraph, it will be put between quotation marks while the page will be cited (Luca, 1998, 17).

b) For references having two authors, use the names and the year (Luca, Gudea, 2010, 20) and for those with three or more authors, use the last name of first author followed by “et al”. (Luca et al., 2003, 120).

d) References cited should be arranged chronologically; if there is more than one reference for one author in the same year, use a, b, c etc. The references to same or different authors should be separated by semicolon: (Lazarovici, 1979, 85; Luca, 1998, 72; Luca, 2001a, 121; Luca, 2001b, 78).



1. The title “References” will be written in TNR, size 11, bold, centered, upper case

2. Include only references cited in the text, figures, captions and tables.

3. Arrange the references alphabetically by first author and then alphabetically by second author. If there is more than one reference to the same author(s), arrange them chronologically. For references with more than two authors, list alphabetically by first author and then chronologically.

4. For the most common cases, follow the examples:

a) Papers in periodical journals as follows:

Bourillon 2002 Florence Bourillon, Les Parisiens et la modernisation de la ville au XIXe siècle. Evaluer, transformer et construire la ville. In: Revue d’histoire du XIXe siècle, 24 (2002).

b) Books as follows:

Burke 2008 Burke, Peter, What is cultural history? Cambridge, Polity Press (2008).

c) Chapters in books:

Stanzel 1999 Stanzel Frank K., “ZurliterarischeImagologie. Eine Einführung”. In Ingomar Weiler, Waldermar Zacharasiewicz (eds.) Europäischer Völkerspiegel. Imagologisch-ethographische Studienzu den Völkertafeln des frühen 18. Jahrhunderts, Universitätverlag C. Winter, Heidelberg (1999), p. 9-39.

d) Proceedings from symposiums and conferences:

Karamberopoulos, Oeconomopolulos 2004 Karamberopoulos, D., Oeconomopolulos Alexandra, Greek medical manuscripts of the period of the 16th middle 19th century. Proceedings of the 39th Congress on the History of Medicine held at Bari (2004).

e) Unpublished thesis or reports:

Roman 1958 Roman Petre, Grupa înmormântărilor cu ocru pe teritoriul RPR, București (1958). Thesis (manuscript).

Diaconescu et al. 2011 Diaconescu Dragoș, Dumitrescu-Chioar Florian, Natea Gheorghe, Șura Mică, com. Șura Mică, jud. Sibiu. In CCA 2011 (campania 2010) (in press).

List of illustrations

A list of illustrations (numbered consecutively) should be arranged on a different page after the list of references. The caption should be added to the illustration number. The illustration list is to be translated into Romanian (Romanian translation will be provided by the Museum staff upon the authors’ request).


1. Inside the text, each illustration (maps, graphs, photographs) should correspond to the number of the illustration list.

2. The caption should be TNR 11.

3. The caption should comprise reference to first author name and year of publishing if required.

4. Maps must indicate the North, have at least two coordinate data on each axis, and have a graphic scale. Places mentioned in text should be marked on maps.

5. Good quality jpeg or tiff format (300 dpi), clear black and white contrast photographs are acceptable. If colour, please note that the decision of black and white or colour publishing will be communicated to you afterwards by the editors.

6. References to illustrations in the text should appear as “Figure 1”.


1. Tables should be arranged on a different page, numbered consecutively.

2. References to tables in text should appear as Table 1.


The Brukenthal. Acta Musei – Brukenthalia enjoys the scientific status CNCS B.

Brukenthal. Acta Musei – Brukenthalia is included in several international databases:

2009 INDEX COPERNICUS: http://www.journals.indexcopernicus.com/karta.php?action=masterlist&id=4759

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2015 ERIH PLUS: https://dbh.nsd.uib.no/publiseringskanaler/erihplus/periodical/info?id=484924

2018 ORES: https://ores.su/en/journals/brukenthal-acta-musei/

SJR: https://www.scimagojr.com/journalsearch.php?q=21100223157&tip=sid&clea

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