Culture, Suicide, and the Human Condition

Culture, Suicide, and the Human Condition
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
Fabianinkatu 24A, Helsinki
February 14 -16, 2008

The aim of this interdisciplinary symposium is to discuss suicide from historical and cultural perspectives. We shall address the following questions:
1. How is the definition of suicide based on western religious and philosophical ideas?
2. How is suicide defined and understood within various cosmologies across cultures?
3. How are culture, nature, and society intertwined in our understanding of suicide?
4. How is suicide intertwined with global, social and political problems?
5. How do the western ideas of the relationship between self and society, embedded in social research on suicide, cause biases for research in non-western cultures?
The workshop brings together scholars from the field of the humanities, social sciences, and psychiatry for discussions and establishment of an international research network in the area.



Thursday, February 14
10 –10:15 Opening
University of Helsinki Main Building, Lecture Hall 12
Professor Juha Sihvola (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies)

10:15 – 11:45 Plenary Session
University of Helsinki Main Building, Lecture Hall 12
Professor María Cátedra (Universidad Complutense de Madrid):
When it is worth the trouble to die – The cultural valuation of suicide
11:45 – 13:30 Lunch break

13:30 – 16:15 Ancient and Medieval Perspectives on Self-Killing
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Seminar Room 136
13:30 – 14:45 Ph.D Miira Tuominen and Ph.D student Malin Grahn (University of Helsinki): Self-killing in antiquity – an act of courage or an act of folly?
14:45 – 15 Coffee
15:00 – 16:15 Academy fellow Virpi Mäkinen (University of Helsinki):
Right to life and death in the late medieval and early modern moral philosophy

18 Rector’s Reception
 
Friday, February 15
Contemporary Cultural Perspectives on Suicide

10:15 – 11:45 Plenary Session
University of Helsinki Main Building, Lecture hall XIII
Professor Charles Macdonald (CNRS):  Constructing the suicide’s identity
11:45 – 13:30 Lunch break

13:30 – 16:15 Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Seminar Room 136
13:30 – 14:30 Psychoanalyst Petri Meronen: The idea of suicide in psychoanalysis
14:30 – 14:45 Coffee break
14:45 – 16:15 Plenary Session
Professor Hasse Karlsson (Helsinki University Hospital):
How psychiatry explains mind, illness, and suicide


Saturday, February 16
Global, Political and Social Perspectives on Suicide

10:15 – 11:45 Plenary Session
University of Helsinki Main Building, Lecture hall XIII
Professor Fei Wu (University of Beijing):
“Excluded suicide” – death, illness, and stigma in rural China
11:45 – 13:30 Lunch break

13:30 – 15:45
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Seminar Room 136
13:30 – 14:30 Docent Marja-Liisa Honkasalo (University of Helsinki):
Autonomy, responsibility, and suicide in Finnish contexts
14:30 – 14:45 Coffee
14:45 – 15:45 Ph.D Susanne Dahlgren (University of Helsinki): The "Islamic Suicide Terrorist" - Questions and Comments

15:45 – 17 Closing Discussion

Please note: preliminary registration is necessary. For registrations, contact Mette Sundblad: mette.sundblad@helsinki.fi.