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.

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