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From Yumna Masarwa

Professor Yumna Masarwa (Institute for American Universities, The American College of the Mediterranean) has just published an article related to Thanatic Ethicsin in the peer-reviewed journal Etudes sur la mort. It is entitled: “From “we are at war” to “they are martyrs”: Burial and Body Repatriation among Muslims during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Marseilles”.


Based on ethnographic research in Marseilles, which includes participant observation with Muslim death-care workers (undertakers and corpse washers), this article studies the performance of burials and body repatriation among Muslims (with a focus on Algerians) in Marseilles (France) during the Covid pandemic. It examines how bereaved Muslim families, Muslim funeral homes and the French Council for the Muslim Religion (CFCM) are adapting and reacting to new French government health regulations, especially those banning the ritual washing and shrouding of the corpse. I argue that the harsh reality of banning body repatriation, banning the ritual washing and shrouding of the corpse, the shortage of Islamic burial grounds in French cemeteries, and most importantly the urgency to comfort the bereaved Muslim families led the CFCM to declare Muslims who died of the coronavirus as “martyrs.

Keywords: funeral rites, ritual washing, body repatriation, French Muslims, Marseilles, covid-19.


“From “we are at war” to “they are martyrs”: Burial and Body Repatriation among Muslims during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Marseilles,” Etudes Sur La Mort 158 (2022), pp. 55-69.

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From Pilar Cuder-Domínguez

There is an online book launch of Larissa Lai’s fourth novel, The Lost Century (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022) on Thursday October 27, 17:00-18:30 CET.

The reading, hosted by COIDESO (University of Huelva, Spain) will be followed by a Q& A session.

All welcome!

Meeting ID: 932 9399 0078

Access code: 432361

From Françoise LESTAGE

On the 12th and 13th of October, organization committee from Université de Paris Cité - CNRS are organizing days on the theme of identification of the deceased with several members of the list already involved in research on the dead, such as Carolina Kobelinsky or Nicolas Fischer, and with the people in charge of the forensics (Institut Médico légal) in Paris.

On the 12th there will be a round-table discussion with social, legal, medical and judicial actors on this theme at the beginning of the afternoon, followed by a three-way conference at the end of the day.

On the 13th there will be a morning session with researchers on the same theme.

Please refer to the below programme posters for the details.

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