Death: “The act of dying; the end of life or the state of being dead.”
Salon: “A periodic gathering of people of social or intellectual distinction”
In Los Angeles, October 2013, a group of academics, artists and professional death experts came together to discuss a topic which was once considered taboo but is fast becoming de rigueur: Death.
The prestigious gathering included Dr Lindsey Fitzharris and Joanna Ebenstein to name a few, all under the watchful eye of the Death Salon founders & organisers Megan Rosenbloom and Caitlin Doughty
Here at Barts Pathology Museum it has been my aim from the beginning to utilise this space and collection to open dialogues about death, history of medicine, pathology and anatomy and make those topics accessible to all. It's therefore a wonderful honour to be host and co-organiser of this UK offshoot to be held here from 10th-12th April 2014.
If you're interested in presenting a paper or have a lecture/workshop proposal then send an email to myself and Lindsey, my co-organiser at firstname.lastname@example.org The seminar days will be loosely based around the topics before death or preparing for death; death itself; and after death so anything that fits within that structure can be submitted. There will be a panel discussion at the end of each day to discuss topics such as funeral costs and natural funerals, organ donation and dissection in medical schools. We look forward to hearing proposals and further details about the conference will be announced here and via the Death Salon website
Day 1) Ante-Mortem (10/04/14) speakers include:
Dr Nathan Hefflick, School of Psychology (University of Kent) How death salience can have positive psychological effects when it motivates heightened engagement in life.
Rosie Inman-Cook, The Natural Death Centre: "Lifting the Lid on Dying and Funerals"
Josefine Speyer (UKCP Reg Psychotherapist in private practice, and bereavement specialist) Co-Founder of The Natural Death centre and facilitator of The Death Cafe.
Simon Ferrar, Clandon Wood Natural Burial Site
Sarah Troop (US), Nourishing Death discusses the growing western interest in her culture's Dia de los Muertos
Vadim Kosmos, The Last Tuesday Society. The Cabaret du Neant (Death Cafe's) in C18th Paris
Dr Eleanor Wilson, University of Nottingham: "Hospital Mortuaries: the blind spot of end of life care."
Rebekah Reeve-Jones and Zoe McLean "Keepsakes of the Dead" Shrine Making
Dr David J Wilkinson, Emeritus Consultant Anaesthetist, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, and President of World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists: “Looking dead may not be the same as being dead”
Keynote Speaker: Megan Rosenbloom (US) "A History of the Fear of Premature Burial"
Day 2) Peri-Mortem (11/04/14) speakers include:
Dr Marianne Hamel, M.D, Ph.D. (US) “Hot Lights, Sharp Steel, Cold Flesh” : How medical examiners determine cause and manner of death in contrast to media portrayals of the practice of forensic pathology.
Dr Sarah Yardley (Keele University)"Are autopsies a missed educational opportunity to learn core palliative care principles?”
Dr Amanda Jeffery (Home Office Reg. Forensic Pathologist) will talk about CT Scanning at Autopsy (or virtual autopsy) and the most recent findings
Kristoffer Hughes, Author and Anatomical Pathology Technician: "Servants of the Reaper: A History of Mortuary Ritual and Practice"
Dr Alan Bates Hon. Senior Lecturer, Dept. Cellular Pathology, Royal Free Hospital "Victorian Anatomy Museums"
Annie Broadbent - "We Need to Talk About Grief" - grief and how people respond to those experiencing it
Kirsty McNally - NHS Blood and Transplant - Organ Donation
John Clarke - "From Here to Eternity: The Necropolis Railway and the Brookwood Cemetery"
Dr Cathy Molyneux, QMUL director of Anatomical Studies - A History of the Dissection Room
Keynote Speaker: Dr Lindsey Fitzharris
Day 3) Post-Mortem (12/04/14) speakers include:
Dr John Troyer "The Centre for Death and Society" at the University of Bath will discuss dead body disposal technology, the future of death, and the future of death technology
Dr Anastasia Tsaliki (research area Funerary & Biological Archaeology/Forensic Anthropology) "Who is Afraid of the Undead?: Unusual Burial Practices and Necrophobia"
Katherine Crouch "Disturbing the Death/The Disturbing Dead" PhD research on attitudes towards the excavation, curation and display of archaeological human remains and the role of mortuary archaeology in contemporary british culture"
Prof. Lisa Downing - Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality, and author of "Desiring the Dead"."Cinematic representations of the necrophilia/aesthetic corpse trope"
Valentina Lari, artist, will lecture on Victorian post-mortem photography and modern day comparisons as well as difficulties she encountered during her filming of The Defomirty of Beauty at Mutter Museum
Brian Parsons "Funeral Practices in the UK: 150 Years of Change"
Joshua Graham Comparitive Ethnography of English and Americal Funeral Food Practices"
Art Macabre Drawing Salon - Founder Nikki Shaill explores the relationship between the nude figure and death in art. there will be a chance to participate in a death-drawing class - all materials provided
Dr. Paul Koudounaris: Bolivian Skull Rituals
Keynote Speaker: Caitlin Doughty (US)