Categories
Death + Popular Culture

Reflections on Being a Morbid Anatomy Museum Scholar in Residence

One perk of being an academic is that you’re sometimes asked to temporarily join a cool organization as the in house scholar. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

This past August, I was the Scholar in Residence at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, New York.

An academic Residency can take on many forms and I focused on a few different activities alongside doing my own research.

I curated a group of films for a series I called “Tales from the Celluloid Coffin”. I also presented a group of illustrated lectures on my research.

The films covered everything from 1970’s future dystopias (Soylent Green) to contemporary ideas about memorializing the dead (Black Mirror).

The illustrated lectures presented my research on a number of topics, including dead body disposal technology, necrophilia laws, and the future of death.

The Morbid Anatomy Museum had only been officially open about six weeks when my Residency began and it hit two months by the time I finished. This is important because the MAM is a new institution and is in the early stages of building its intellectual, artistic, and economic infrastructure.

The Museum grew out of the Morbid Anatomy Library, started in 2008 by Museum Creative Director Joanna Ebbenstein. I have known Joanna since July 2009.

John Troyer at the MAM // Photo by Christine Colby
John Troyer at the MAM // Photo by Christine Colby

We first met when I gave a talk at the Morbid Anatomy Library space on the history of 19th century dead body preservation entitled ‘Bodies Embalmed by Us NEVER TURN BLACK!’: A Brief History of the Hyperstimulated Human Corpse. I then went on to give a series of other talks for the Library, as well as work with Joanna on events at the Coney Island Museum and in London.

Some general observations on the new Morbid Anatomy Museum and its transition away from the Morbid Anatomy Library

The audiences for the films and lectures at the Museum are different than they were at the Library. I noticed this right away. The audiences were largely people who hadn’t been to many (if any) previous Museum or Library events, and weren’t entirely sure what to expect. This is good, I think. It’s bound to happen when institutions change and the Museum is in the process of building an entirely new kind of audience base. I always found the audiences for my Museum talks responsive and full of good questions. The key issue here is to maintain the Museum’s institutional integrity while building this new audience and to avoid defaulting to ‘wacky’ events in order to keep selling tickets. I don’t think that the MAM will lose sight of its intellectual foundations but, alas, economic concerns sometime begin to weigh on programming decisions. I’ve been part of those kinds of conversations many times in the past.

Another issue that became apparent to me during my Residency was that popular culture and mass media interest in death has peaked. This observation is partly related to the saturation coverage anything and everything about death is currently receiving from mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times, Vice, National Public Radio, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, etc., the list goes on and on. At a certain point, the popular culture and mass media interest will also become farcical, something that seems to already be happening.

One sidenote: reporters should really, really learn to stop using death related puns and then think that they’re clever, but I’ve long since given up on that ever happening.

The other reason that I think mainstream, popular culture interest in death has peaked is related to the research that I was doing during my Residency. I’m currently looking at 1970’s death discourse and end-of-life movements, mostly in America but also the United Kingdom. Until relatively recently, I was unaware how much popular attitudes towards death had changed from 1970-1979. It turns out that the 1970’s were a hotbed of discussion, activism, and death culture debate that significantly affected our contemporary moment. A number of groups that took shape during the 1970’s remain with us today, e.g., the death acceptance movement, the natural death movement (which advocated foregoing medical treatment to die ‘naturally’), and death with dignity groups.

One scholar’s work in particular, Lyn H. Lofland Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of California Davis, really sums up (for me) how changes to American death attitudes create new kinds of societal norms. She also adds a cautionary note regarding death’s inevitable chic:

“…it seems likely that eventually humans will construct for themselves a new, or at least altered, death culture and organization — a new “craft of dying” – better able to contain the new experience…I believe, as do other sociological observers…that in the ferment of activity relative to death and dying during the last two decades in the United States we have witnessed and are witnessing just such a reconstruction. Undoubtedly within this ferment, especially that emanating from the mass media, there are elements of fad and fashion – a thanatological “chic” as it were, having approximately the same level of import as organic gardening and home canning among the rich. And certainly one can never underestimate the capacity of American public discourse to transform “life and death matters” into passing enthusiasms. But there is, I believe, more to this activity than simply one more example of impermanent trendiness in modern life. Americans, especially affluent middle-class Americans, have been in the process of creating new or at least altered ways of thinking, believing, feeling, and acting about death and dying because they have been confronting a new “face of death.”

This quote is on p.16 of her book The Craft of Dying: The Modern Face of Death, which was published in 1978. If anyone reading this passage was struck by how uncannily it describes 2014, then you’re not alone. Indeed, reading Lofland’s work has been a revelation and the 1970s have become my new area of research.

Per Lofland’s forty-year-old observations, an institution such as the Morbid Anatomy Museum is made conceptually possible, I think, because of the current middle class interest in death and thanatological chic. What made the Museum physically possible was the time and labor spent building the Morbid Anatomy Library, a project that never set out to be fashionable. The challenge the Museum now faces is when death chic is replaced by another interest for the urban middle classes.

A final thought on an issue that the 1970’s were never able to solve. Affluent, mostly white middle-class Americans need to also expand their current death interests beyond themselves and begin tackling funeral and death poverty for the poor. It’s a lot easier to make elaborate home-based funerals your political cause when you’ve got the time (which translates into money) to do so. The quicker that this economic reality is recognized by today’s Happy Death Movement (a term Lofland coined in the 1970’s) the sooner longer lasting changes will occur.

The upside of these dilemmas is that even when death’s middle class fashionability dissipates, the face of death will continue to stare us all down.

In a word, the work never ends.

Many thanks to the following people who helped make my Residency so wonderful and productive:
Laetitia, Brant, Joanna, AC, Paco, Eric Sollien, Christine Colby and Lady Aye
And special thanks to:
Mac, Catherine, Daphne, Oona, and Simon

Categories
Death + Art / Architecture Death + Popular Culture Death + Technology

Day 29: Full Listing of Events for Death Ref John’s Morbid Anatomy Museum Residency

Morbid Anatomy Museum
424A 3rd Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215

During the month of August, I will be the Scholar in Residence at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn.

My residency includes a series of films about death that I specifically selected for the MAM. It also features illustrated lectures about my research on death, dying, and the dead body.

Quick clue for Death Ref’s close personal friends: the films and the talks complement each other.

More than anything, I’m really excited to spend August at the Museum.

The complete listing of films and talks is below.

You can also click here to see August’s calendar on the Morbid Anatomy Museum website.

Tales from the Celluloid Coffin: A Death-themed Series of Film Screenings
Mondays 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm $5

 

August 4: Death, Dystopia and Technology Circa 1970

 

August 11: Death, Color and Memory

 

August 18: Necrophilia

 

August 25: Future Death Circa 1990

 

Illustrated Lectures on Death, Dying, and the Dead Body
Wednesdays 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm $8

 

August 6: Future Dead Body Technology

 

August 13: Morbid Ink: The Permanence of Memorial Tattoos

 

August 20: Abusing the Corpse: Understanding Necrophilia Laws in the USA

 

August 27: The Future is Death and Death is the Future: Technology, Politics, and the Dead Body

Categories
Death + Humor

Coney Island Freakshow: The Normal, the Abnormal, and the Pathological on Display

The photo sums it up.

Death Ref John’s Congress for Curious Peoples presentation on the Abnormal, the Normal, and the Pathological on Display.

Categories
Cemeteries Death + Popular Culture Death + Technology Death Ethics

The Future of Death, Dead Bodies, and Cemeteries talk on June 20 in London

Future Death. Future Dead Bodies. Future Cemeteries
Illustrated lecture by Dr. John Troyer, Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath
20th June 2013
Doors at 6:30 / Talk begins at 7:00 pm
Ticket price £7
The Last Tuesday Society at 11 Mare Street, London, E8 4RP

This coming Thursday, June 20, 2013 I’m giving a public talk for the Morbid Anatomy Library and the Last Tuesday Society in London. The Morbid Anatomy Library talks are normally located in the lovely Gowanus Canal area of Brooklyn (don’t pay any attention its Superfund site classification) but its Librarian-in-Chief Joanna Ebenstein is currently in London to organise this lecture series.

Joanna has been a good friend to the Death Reference Desk and one of our earliest supporters. Indeed, the very first Morbid Anatomy talk that I ever gave (in Brooklyn) was in July 2009. That was the same month and year that Death Ref launched.

It’s been an adventurous four years.

So come to this talk on Thursday if you can or, even better, go to one of the many other fantastic talks curated by Joanna at the Last Tuesday Society.

You will not be disappointed.

Future Death. Future Dead Bodies. Future Cemeteries
Illustrated lecture by Dr. John Troyer, Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath

20th June 2013
Doors at 6:30 / Talk begins at 7:00 pm
Ticket price £7

 

Approximately 1500 people die every day across the United Kingdom, roughly one person a minute. And unless you are a person who works in a profession connected to the dying, chances are good you rarely (if ever) see any of these 1500 dead bodies. More importantly– do you and your next of kin know what you want done with your dead body when you die? In the future, of course, since it’s easier to think that way. Dr. John Troyer, from the Centre for Death & Society, University of Bath, will discuss three kinds of postmortem futures: Future Death, Future Dead Bodies, and Future Cemeteries. Central to these Futures is the human corpse and its use in new forms of body disposal technology, digital technology platforms, and definitions of death.

 

Dr John Troyer

Dr. John Troyer is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath. His interdisciplinary research focuses on contemporary memorialisation practices, concepts of spatial historiography, and the dead body?s relationship with technology. Dr. Troyer is also a theatre director and installation artist with extensive experience in site-specific performance across the United States and Europe. He is a co-founder of the Death Reference Desk website (http://www.deathreferencedesk.org) and a frequent commentator for the BBC. His forthcoming book, Technologies of the Human Corpse (published by the University of North Carolina Press), will appear in 2013.

 

The Last Tuesday Society is honoured to house this exhibition and lecture series cultivated in collaboration with Joanna Ebenstein of the rightfully venerated ‘Morbid Anatomy’ Library, Museum & Blog.

 

Talks take place at The Last Tuesday Society at 11 Mare Street, London, E8 4RP

Categories
Death + Popular Culture Death + Technology Death + the Web

SxSW Platforms for Haunting: The Talking Dead Podcast

Platforms for Haunting: The Talking Dead
SxSW Interactive 2013

In March 2013, the Death Reference Desk headed to the South by Southwest Interactive conference.

A podcast of Death Ref John’s talk has now been released and you can listen to it above.

He was part of presentation called Platforms for Haunting: The Talking Dead.

Here is a description of the presentation.

The relationship between death and technology is as old as human civilisation; from cenotaph to facebook memorial, industries have been built on our desire to remember and be remembered. Technology now enables us to create spine-chilling immersive experiences; allowing us to embody the worlds of our ancestors, enter our ghost stories and even plan a little post-mortem haunting ourselves. We want to move the conversation beyond discussions of data legacy to ask whether we can engender a new form of history, one that allows us to interact with the dead.

 

Bringing together experts in human remains, memorialisation and new technology this Panel will explore our relationship with mortality in a digital age. The discussion will draw on recent projects which have used new technology to augment cemeteries, populate historic sites with ghosts of their past and instigate twitter conversations with a 1,610 year old woman.

Categories
Death + Popular Culture Death + Technology Death + the Web

Death Ref heads to South by Southwest (SxSW) in Texas

Platforms for Haunting: The Talking Dead
South by Southwest Interactive media conference
Saturday, March 9
5:00PM – 6:00PM
Radisson Town Lake
Town Lake Ballroom
111 E Cesar Chavez

The Death Reference Desk is headed to the 2013 South by Southwest (SxSW) Interactive media conference in Austin, Texas.

Doing our best to keep Austin weird!

Death Ref is part of a panel, Platforms for Haunting: The Talking Dead, on death, technology, the dead body and the future relationships of all these things. Same old same old, really. Death Ref John’s Future Cemetery project will also be involved.

Here is the panel’s description so that everyone can see what they’re missing (or seeing– if you’re at SxSW):

The relationship between death and technology is as old as human civilisation; from cenotaph to facebook memorial, industries have been built on our desire to remember and be remembered. Technology now enables us to create spine-chilling immersive experiences; allowing us to embody the worlds of our ancestors, enter our ghost stories and even plan a little post-mortem haunting ourselves. We want to move the conversation beyond discussions of data legacy to ask whether we can engender a new form of history, one that allows us to interact with the dead.

 

Bringing together experts in human remains, memorialisation and new technology this Panel will explore our relationship with mortality in a digital age. The discussion will draw on recent projects which have used new technology to augment cemeteries, populate historic sites with ghosts of their past and instigate twitter conversations with a 1,610 year old woman.

Updates about SxSW will appear here on the Death Ref blog, on Death Ref’s Facebook page and on the Twitter Feed of Death!

The Twitter feeds to watch are: @DeathRef, #SxSW, #haunting, @FutureCemetery, and @ReactHub

Anyone in Austin should come on up and say howdy!

And then after Death Ref is done with the SxSW panel, we’re all going to the Alamo’s basement to look for our stolen bicycle.

Categories
Cemeteries Death + Technology Death + the Web Eco-Death

Future Death. Future Dead Bodies. Future Cemeteries. TEDx Talk by John Troyer

Future Death. Future Dead Bodies. Future Cemeteries
John Troyer, TEDxBristol Talk (September 15, 2012)

On September 15, 2012 I was one of the TEDxBristol speakers. The TEDxBristol 2012 theme was Future Shock, so I took the opportunity to discuss three of my favorite topics: Future Death, Future Dead Bodies, and Future Cemeteries.

The entire TEDx event was organized exceptionally well, and I was impressed by all the speakers. I usually count on at least one speaker who completely blows it and becomes that guy (because it’s almost always one of the male speakers) so that I can be relieved that I wasn’t that guy. But no.

 John Troyer using officially recognizable TED talk hand gestures
John Troyer using officially recognizable TED talk hand gestures

What really stands out for me from the day is the live drawing being done by artist Nat Al-Tahhan as each of us spoke. Nat drew images reflecting our talks, while we spoke, and she nailed the day down. I love the images. You can see them here.

I’m fairly certain that Death Ref readers can determine when I spoke, based only on the drawings.

The video of my talk is now up and you can watch it on YouTube here or above.

Categories
Death + Popular Culture Death + Technology Death + the Web

TEDxBristol Talk by Death Ref’s own John Troyer

TEDx Speaker Q&A: Dr John Troyer, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath
MSHED Bristol (Saturday, September 15, 2012)

A quick post about a TEDxBristol talk that I’m giving on Saturday, September 15 in Bristol. The TEDxBristol theme this year is Future Shock so I’m talking about Future Death * Future Dead Bodies * Future Cemeteries.

My talk could also be called A Brief Review of Hilarious Articles from the Death Reference Desk .

Many thanks to the TEDxBristol organizers for inviting me.

If the talk is uploaded to the interwebs then I’ll post it on the DRD.

Here is my Q&A for the TED organizers.

Where does your story begin?

My story begins in a small town in western Wisconsin. Hudson, Wisconsin. Not much else to say really.

 

Tell us two quirky things about yourself

My father is funeral director. And even though I’m a person with tattoos, most people would not see me as a tattooed person.

 

Why did you want to be involved in TEDxBristol?

When TED asks you for a favour, you never say no.

 

What will you be talking about at TEDxBristol?

Future technologies that will impact death, the dead body, and cemeteries. But my talk is also about how these technologies represent the shock of the old, and are not entirely new.

 

What would you like people to take away from your talk?

I want people to answer two questions: What do you want done with your body when you die? And, have you explained these wishes to your next-of-kin?

 

What is your favourite TED talk and why?

Jae Rhim Lee’s Mushroom Burial Suit. Contemporary dead body disposal is entirely about pursuing innovations in human decomposition. Indeed, understanding the dead human body as organic biomass is the future of final disposition technologies.

Categories
Death + Popular Culture

John Troyer Performs: 150 Years of the Human Corpse in American History

Bristol Live Open Platform (BLOP Festival)
The Arnolfini, Bristol (UK)
Saturday 25 February, 2012 11.00am – 8.00pm
£6.00 / £5.00 concessions

 

Full BLOP Festival Schedule
John Erik Troyer, Ph.D. performs at 2:45pm on February 25

We here at the Death Reference Desk are always full of surprises. So it should come as no shock that I, John Erik Troyer, Ph.D., will perform a short theatrical piece for the upcoming Blop Festival in Bristol, England on Saturday, February 25. The festival is being held at the Arnolfini arts centre.

I hit the stage at 2:45pm sharp!

The performance’s full title more or less sums up what happens on stage:

150 Years of the Human Corpse in American History in Under 15 Minutes with Jaunty Background Music

Not much else to say, really.

Here, however, is a more robust show description:

In 1851 American chemist Thomas Holmes invented the first reliable method for mechanically embalming dead human bodies. Holmes put his embalmed bodies on display in cities across America. Those human corpses attracted so many spectators that riots often erupted near the viewing areas.

 

Death, as nineteenth century humans understood it, would never be the same.

 

In 1972 John Erik Troyer was born, son of a funeral director and an early student of mortuary science. His life-long study of the dead body would eventually help him write a doctoral thesis entitled Technologies of the Human Corpse and assist his becoming a Doctor of Philosophy. This one-man show is a combination of all these things: a meditation on the human corpse, the untimely demise of a self-absorbed thanatologist, and it is all done in under 15 minutes. With jaunty background music.

The story of John Erik Troyer, Ph.D. is a cautionary tale of intellectual labor run amok and a hilarious comedy of necrophilic proportions.

 

Death, as we twenty-first century humans understand it, will never be the same.

That’s that. If you have any questions or would like to, say, book me a national tour (we can start small, you know, just the West Country at first) then here is my contact information:

John Erik Troyer, Ph.D.:
Telephone: 01225 383585
E-mail: john@deathreferencedesk.org
Twitter: @deathref

Finally, here is a video of me doing Modern Dance. The video doesn’t have anything to do with the show on February 25. Per se. But it could. If I get that National Tour! Right now, this is just shameless self-promotion. Straight up.

Categories
Burial Cemeteries cremation Death + Technology Eco-Death

Dead Body and Technology Lecture Tuesday April 19

Future Death: The Dead Human Body as Biomass
An Illustrated lecture with Dr. John Troyer
Deputy Director
Centre for Death and Society
University of Bath
Tuesday, April 19 at 8:00pm

Hello Death Reference Desk readers. Next Tuesday, April 19 I am giving a talk in Brooklyn, New York for the Observatory group and the Morbid Anatomy Library. My good friend Joanna Ebenstein runs the Morbid Anatomy Library and she is the hippest, coolest, pathological anatomical specimen collector you will ever meet.

Next Tuesday’s talk is on research that I am doing about new(ish) forms of dead body disposal. These newer postmortem technologies will most certainly become more prevalent in the future and I will discuss their impact on the dead body.

Nothing says HOT HOT TUESDAY NIGHT to me like pictures of new machines which dissolve dead bodies.

Here is a full description for the talk.

Please check it out if you can.

Future Death: The Dead Human Body as Biomass

An Illustrated lecture with Dr. John Troyer
Deputy Director
Centre for Death and Society
University of Bath

Date: Tuesday April 19th
Time: 8:00
Admission: $5

 

As people become more and more interested in the environmental impacts of their daily lives, some individuals are asking: How green is death? What are the environmental impacts associated with handling the dead body? Dr. John Troyer, Deputy Director at the Centre for Death & Society, University of Bath, England, will discuss the environmental issues which surround current post-mortem options, from burial to cremation to biomass tissue digestion. Dr. Troyer will discuss new research exploring how heat-capture technology currently used at the Haycombe Crematorium in Bath reduces both mercury emissions and offers a potentially viable energy source for the local community.

Soylent Green isn’t just people. It’s now.

Categories
Death + Popular Culture Monuments + Memorials

History of Hip: A Brief History of Tattoos on January 11

History of Hip: Art With A Point, ‘A Brief History of Tattoos’
Minnesota History Center
345 Kellogg Boulevard W
Saint Paul, MN 55102-1906
Dates: January 11, 2011
Time: 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Fee: FREEEEE (but $5.00 to park in the MNHS parking lot)
Reservations: recommended, call 651-259-3015

Please note: This event has been moved from the Turf Club, which has been closed temporarily. Wine and beer are available for purchase in the History Center’s Cafe Minnesota.

A few years ago, Minneapolis tattoo artist Awen Briem and I gave a joint talk on Memorial Tattoos. In fact, you can read all about Memorial Tattoos here on the Death Reference Desk. Meg, Kim, and I have been fielding questions about the ins and outs of these tattoos since day one of Death Ref.

On January 11, 2011, Awen and I will be together again to discuss tattooing. This particular talk will be in St. Paul, MN at the world famous Minnesota Historical Society. We will be discussing the broader history of human tattooing, with special attention paid to memorial tattoos.

The talk is sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society and a big high-five to the MNHS for organizing a series called the History of Hip.

A complete description of the tattoo talk is below. And you can read all about Awen at her tattoo studio’s website Art With A Point.

History of Hip: Art With A Point, ‘A Brief History of Tattoos’
Minnesota History Center, St Paul MN

Dates: January 11, 2011
Time: 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Fee: FREEEEE
Reservations: recommended, call 651-259-3015 or register online

 

Never just the domain of sailors and outlaws, tattoos have a rich and storied history. From Pacific Islanders to American hipsters, body art has long been a popular form of self expression with many layers of meaning. Dr. John Troyer will discuss the history of human tattooing, as well as some of the key traditions associated with the practice. Tattoo artist Awen Briem will weigh in on tattoo customs and share thoughts on memorable designs and clients she’s worked with at her studio, Art With A Point.

 

History of Hip explores the mysterious factors that confer hipness on an artist or a fad, and trace the origins of creative genres that still register with artists, audiences, and tastemakers today. Snacks provided.

Categories
Cemeteries cremation Death + Technology Eco-Death Funeral Industry

The Ultimate in Going Green: New Research into Postmortem Options with John Troyer

Crematorium to Keep Mourners Warm by Burning Bodies of Loved Ones
The Daily Mail (January 08, 2008)

 

Eco-Death Articles and Information
Put Together by The Death Reference Desk Cadaver Team (Meg, Kim, and John)

So in January 2008, I read an article in the UK’s Daily Mail about a Manchester crematorium that captured its heat exhaust, filtered out mercury and other problematic materials, and then re-used the heat for keeping the attached chapel warm. The Daily Mail is a notoriously scandal mongering tabloid so it was clear that this story was supposed to cause some kind of outrage. The problem for the Mail was this: no one complained about what the crematorium was doing and, more importantly, people really liked the idea.

I read this article while I was still living in America and well before I knew that I would end up working for the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath.

But then I got my current job at the University of Bath and one of the first things I did was start a project which examined how Bath’s local crematorium, Haycombe Cemetery and Crematorium, used heat capture technology.

This is a drastically shortened version of a story which has taken me on postmortem adventures that I never imagined.

So on December 21, 2010 at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theatre in Minneapolis I am giving a talk about these adventures along with a broader look at the topic of ecologically friendly forms of final disposition.

Or, finding a greener shade of death.

The Bell Museum of Natural History’s Cafe Scientifique program is presenting the talk and I am extremely honored by this fact. Here is the official announcement:

The Ultimate in Going Green: New Research into Postmortem Options
Consumers are increasingly interested in the environmental impact of their personal choices, including their own end of life decisions. John Troyer, Deputy Director of the University of Bath’s Centre for Death and Society, will discuss the environmental impact of traditional burial and cremation practices, as well as new research into crematorium heat-capture technology which eliminates both mercury emissions and offers a potentially viable energy source.

 

Doors open at 6 p.m.
Food and Drink Available for Purchase
Tickets: $5-$12 Pay what you can
Call 612-825-8949 for reservations

 

ABOUT THIS MONTH’S SPEAKER

John Troyer received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society in May 2006. His Ph.D. dissertation, entitled “Technologies of the Human Corpse,” was awarded the University of Minnesota’s 2006 Best Dissertation Award in the Arts and Humanities. From 2007-2008 he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Studies at The Ohio State University teaching the cultural studies of science and technology. John is currently the Deputy Director and Death and Dying Practices Associate for the University of Bath’s Centre for Death and Society. Within the field of Death Studies, he analyzes the global history of science and technology and its effects on the dead body. He is a co-founder of the critically acclaimed Death Reference Desk website (www.deathreferencedesk.org), a frequent commentator for the BBC, and his first book, Technologies of the Human Corpse (University of North Carolina Press), will appear in 2012.

The University of Bath’s Centre for Death & Society is the UK’s only centre devoted to the study and research of social aspects of death, dying and bereavement. It provides a centre for the social study of death, dying and bereavement and acts as a catalyst and facilitator for research, education and training, policy development, media, and community awareness.

 

ABOUT CAFE SCIENTIFIQUE

The Bell Museum’s Café Scientifique is a program for adults that brings research from the University of Minnesota and beyond into some of the Twin Cities’ most unique and atmospheric bars and restaurants. The Bell Museum’s Café Scientifique explores science and natural history from distinct and surprising viewpoints, drawing connections between scientific research, culture, environment and everyday life.

Café Scientifique is co-sponsored by the Bryant-Lake Bowl.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The Bell Museum of Natural History