Members of the Centre for Death & Society
Our members are mainly located within the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, although we welcome members from across the University of Bath.
Our Centre for Death & Society (CDAS) members are all involved in research related to death and dying. We welcome anyone whose research is related in some way to human mortality.
Jeremy Dixon became CDAS and Co-Director in 2022. Jeremy is vice president of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on the Sociology of Mental Health and Illness. He is also vice chair of the Health Research Authority's Social Care Research Ethics Committee and is a board member on the journal Health, Risk & Society.
Kate Woodthorpe is a sociologist with 20 years experience of leading and delivering high quality research and analysis for academic, policymaker and practitioner audiences. During that time she has conducted funded research and published extensively on families at the end of life, funeral costs and practices, mortuary practices, professional development, cemetery usage and public dying. Internationally recognised as a leader in the field, she is committed to supporting colleagues and has published on the experience of doing research in this area and has written a wide ranging book on career development for academics, 'Survive and Thrive in Academia'. Previously the convenor of the BSA Group 'Death, Dying and Bereavement' (DDB), between 2015 and 2019 Kate was editor of the journal Mortality and currently sits on the editorial boards for Death Studies, Mortality and Omega. Awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2023, Kate has acted as a special advisor to the UK Government, Scottish Government and Competition and Markets Authority, and her work on funeral affordability was an impact case study for REF21. She has twice won the University Supervisor of the Year Award and is accepting new doctoral students. You can follow Kate on X via @katewoodybath and find out more about her extensive media works and publications here.
Catriona is studying for an MRes/PhD in Social Policy, funded by the ESCR. She has an undergraduate degree in philosophy from St. Catherine's College Cambridge, and a master's degree (also in philosophy) from Trinity College, Dublin. Her PhD study is informed by 5 years of professional experience in the charitable fundraising sector, most recently in leading the in-memoriam giving programme at a well-known local charity. Through her research she will explore the expectations and experiences of bereaved people creating digital memorials through charitable giving. She aims to work with charities through a participatory methodology to develop best-practise guidance for charities investing in digital forms of in-memoriam giving.
Louise is a Professor of International Social Work & Innovation at the University of Bath and qualified social worker and academic whose research focuses upon the transfer of innovative practice-based interventions from one country to another. She has a specific interest in the role of evidence, managing risk and the cultural adaptation of models as they move between countries. She uses the diffusion of innovation theory to understand her work.
Rebecca is a lecturer on the Social Work & Applied Social Studies undergraduate programme at the University of Bath. She a registered Social Worker with statutory practice experience spanning nearly twenty years, mainly within adult services. Rebecca is in the writing up stage of a Professional Doctorate (Social Work) with Cardiff University. Her research explores how social workers, employed in statutory services in England, support decision making in their daily practice.
Sam is Senior Lecturer within the Department of Education at the University of Bath, and has an interest in human relationships and attachment across the lifespan. His interests in attachment have resulted in a connection with Professor Malcolm Johnson. They are currently exploring the ways in which long-lived individuals experience and look back on the close relationships they have formed over the course of their lives.
Alastair is an ESRC funded PhD student in Social Policy at the University of Bath. His PhD study entitled ‘A gradual farewell with music’ will marry sociological and musicological paradigms to explore the embodied experience of music in people’s experiences of loss. His broader research interests include music in every life, bereavement, ageing and loneliness. He obtained his first-class BA Music degree from Bath Spa University and subsequently obtained a distinction in his MRes in Sociology from the University of Bath. During his research he has become increasingly interested in sociomusicology and the novel contributions this perspective can make to a variety of fields. Much of his research has been inspired by his experience working alongside music leaders in a hospice music group and his experience as a tenor Lay Clerk at Bath Abbey.
Mathew has been involved in services relating to deathcare and its management for over 25 years. During this time he has been involved in operational practices, providing direct service delivery to bereaved persons and their wider communities throughout the UK, and in later years has pivoted to a more strategic role working for a non-profit organisation which provides training and guidance for professionals within the deathcare sector, often tackling the sensitive issues that, whilst providing the most discomfort in addressing, yield the largest reward in being able to drive policies forward that are of benefit to bereaved people. Mathew has recently begun his studies through the University of Bath’s Professional Doctorate in Policy Research and Practice programme and he looks forward to engaging with the CDAS arm of the University and providing an alternative, lived perspective to the valuable and ongoing works undertaken.
Jo completed the MSc in Death and Society at the University of Bath and is currently a registered Social Worker and qualified PEPS current Practice Educator. She has spent the majority of her time in practice as a specialist palliative care social worker, including working with the bereaved. Jo has supported many social work students in training to experience this complex multidisciplinary area of social work practice.
Brad Evans is a political philosopher, critical theorist, and writer, who specializes on the problem of violence. He is author of over 20 books and edited volumes, including most recently Ecce Humanitas: Beholding the Pain of Humanity (Columbia University Press, 2020). He previously led a dedicated columns/series on violence in both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Brad currently serves as Chair of Political Violence and Aesthetics at the University of Bath, United Kingdom, where is he founder and director of the Centre for the Study of Violence.
Kate is a criminologist and lawyer, with expertise in prisons research, criminal law and criminal justice process. Whilst her research covers a range of topics – including violence, drugs, organised/serious crime, culture and leadership in prisons – her current research focuses on prison homicide, and the experience of ageing and dying in prison. Her work primarily focuses on the experiences of young (under 18) and adult men in prison, and draws on wider themes of masculinities, disrupted life course, loss, and complex grief in prison.
Sarah is currently studying for a PhD in the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies. Her thesis examines the digital memorialisation of national traumatic events and what the online space can offer in this area, using the online memorialisation of 9/11 as a case study. She holds an MSc in International Relations from the University of Bristol, and a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages from the University of Sheffield. Her areas of research interest include memory politics, memorialisation (particularly digital), and national identity.
George is pursuing a PhD in Social and Policy Sciences, funded by ESRC and the University of Bath. His PhD thesis is Repatriationscapes: death and body repatriation among African diaspora in the UK. His work focuses on Afrocentric perspectives on death, moving away from Western / Eurocentric perspectives. How does death portray African diaspora regarding policy and regulations within the dominant discourse in the UK? George’s work addresses broader global issues involving identity, belonging, migration and social capital. His research aims to draw to the mainstream, foster understanding of Afrocentric perspectives on death, funerary rituals, and practices. George obtained a Master of Research in International Development with a distinction from the University of Bath in 2021. He obtained a Master of Science in Social and Cultural Theory from the University of Bristol (UK) in 2020. He has a Bachelor of Education (Honours) from Makerere University, Uganda. George moved to the UK ten years ago.
Chenyang is studying for her Ph.D. in Social & Policy Sciences. She has a Master of Research in Social Work, University of Bath, and a Bachelor of Law, University of Science & Technology Beijing. Her research interest is how to promote the development of palliative care in mainland China, including exploring new models of palliative care and related social policies, the application of alternative medicine in palliative care, the doctor-patient relationships in alternative medicine, and opportunities and challenges facing Traditional Chinese Medicine under the background of Neo-liberalism. Her project is about the Shanghai palliative care model. Her research focuses on exploring to what extent the Shanghai model of palliative care in mainland China builds upon alternative approaches to medicine.
Sam is studying an MRes/PhD in Social Policy funded by the ESRC. Her research will explore the benefits and challenges of caring for a deceased person’s body at home, and the extent to which this helps (or hinders) bereaved individuals, families and communities in coming to terms with the death. She has an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science, specialising in Neuroscience and Mental Health, from Imperial College London. During her studies she became interested in interactions with the body after death and the impact it has on people. While preparing to present her dissertation on the ethics of storing human remains in museums, her grandfather died suddenly. Viewing his body at the funeral home had a profoundly different impact compared to her previous encounters with dead bodies, which led her to this new avenue of research.
Having broad experience leading the teaching of coding, digital skills and entrepreneurship in the University of Bath's Department of Computer Science, Rachid now leads the Institute of Coding- a national Institute announced by the Prime Minister in January 2018. Prior to his role in the IoC, Richard's research interests were in the field of human-computer interaction. His research involves knowledge and information exchange between individuals, groups and combinations of the two.
Yvonne is a criminologist and prison researcher with expertise in the architecture and design of custodial environments. She has been a Professor if Criminology since 2007, and since 2018 at the University of Bath. Among her research interests are: the experience of ageing and dying in prison; the architecture and design of custodial spaces for elderly prisoners (including Elderly Prisoner Units and End-of-Life Care Units); managing loss, liminality and a disrupted life course during long and life sentences; and complex manifestations of grief and memorialization in prisons. Her research has been featured in numerous media outlets, including newspapers, magazines and radio.
Malcolm's research and consultancy includes extensive work on the long term care of older people, theories of ageing and on assessment issues. Over the past fifteen years it has extended into end of life care and spirituality in later life.
Ricky is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Policy at the Department of Social Policy and Social Sciences at the University of Bath. His principal research interests are in the Economics of Ageing. Secondary interests include in Health Economics and Welfare Economics. His personal research has featured in leading international economics journals, the front pages of national and international newspapers and also in The Economist. He is also a regular contributor on BBC Radio.
Yu-Ching is a ESRC-funded PhD student in Social Work at the University of Bath. His PhD research is entitled ‘The caregiving experience of carers of a person living with schizophrenia in Taiwan’. You-Ching's broader research interests include caregiver burden, mental health, long-term care, ageing and care and mixed methods research. Apart from the PhD research, he is currently working on a project with the Taiwan Society of Mental Health Social Work regarding the stigma against people with mental health problems in newspapers.
Dr Peter Manning is a senior lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Social & Policy Sciences. His research explores the connections between human rights, transitional justice, and memory. Also concerned with the intersections of environmental issues with these fields. Current projects include exploring the opportunities and challenges in the delivery of genocide education, particularly through arts methodologies and a new book that explores the life trajectories and meaning making practices among ex-combatants after Cambodia's civil war.
Dr Sarah Moore joined the University of Bath in 2015, having previously held lectureships at Royal Holloway, University of London and Queen’s University, Belfast. Her research is concerned with how and why are certain social groups made to feel responsible for their personal safety and wellbeing? And how do late modern social institutions make themselves accessible and accountable to the public? Dr Moore has also twice been awarded University-wide teaching prizes, most recently in 2016 for ‘Best Supervisor’ at the University of Bath.
Terumi is currently studying for her Ph.D. in Social & Policy Sciences. She has a Master of Comparative and International Social Policy, from the University of York, and a Bachelor of Media, from the University of Doshisha in Kyoto. Her research will explore how young people experience and make sense of parental death during emerging adulthood. Alongside Ph.D. research, Terumi is a founder and CEO of a Japanese bereavement charity called Live on and she has over 15 years experience of in support in the fields of bereavement and grief. Recently she launched a website for people who are grieving the loss of someone close during covid-19.
Naomi Pendle's work focuses on governance during times of armed conflict, famine and humanitarian crises. Her ethnographic research, mainly in Sudan and South Sudan, has explored themes including patterns of violence, law and famine, and armed mobilisation. Her work is increasingly exploring the intersection between conflict studies and death studies. She also works closely with a team of South Sudanese researchers and much of her research is co-produced with these colleagues.
Paula is a Senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath. She is a Chartered Health Psychologist who also has a nursing background. Paula has been a lecturer in nursing and was Course Leader for the MSc in Palliative Care at the University of Sheffield. Paula is currently a member of the steering group of Help the Hospices 'Care for the Carer' project, a five year project aimed at highlighting and supporting carers in hospice settings.
Diana is a social gerontologist and Lecturer in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath, where she has recently completed her PhD. Her thesis focuses on the experience of dying in care homes and the care thereof. In the first substantial study of end-of-life care (EOLC) in care homes in nearly 20 years, Diana’s thesis sheds new light on the management of residents’ dying by care home staff. Her thesis concludes that dying in care homes is not a natural process, but a highly managed one. To comply with regulations, care home staff shape residents’ dying and naturalise specific deaths. This raises questions about what sorts of deaths are being supported in care homes. Diana gave the 2022 Beatrice Godwin Memorial Lecture on some of her thesis’ findings. Diana’s research features in Social Science and Medicine.
Lorna has over 15 years experience of research in the fields of addiction and mental health. Her main area of interest and expertise is in the impact of alcohol and drug problems on children and families and she has been involved in national and international research in this area, including the ESRC project on bereavement following substance use.
John Troyer is the Death Studies Scholar-at-Large and former director of the University of Bath’s Centre for Death and Society in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Bath. John received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society. His Ph.D. thesis 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. In 2018 he was awarded the University of Minnesota's Alumni of Notable Achievement Award for his work on death and dying and in 2019 he received the University of Bath's Mary Tasker Award for excellence in teaching. In 2020 MIT Press published his most recent and critically acclaimed book, Technologies of the Human Corpse. Within the field of death studies, John focuses on the history of science and technology, science and technology studies, bioethics and the law. You can follow John on Twitter @DeathRef
Tony is Emeritus Professor of Death Studies at the University of Bath and past Director of CDAS. His most recent book is Death in the Modern World (2020), a global analysis of national, cultural and environmental variations in how death is managed. His current interest is the climate/ecological emergency and the death of species, including our own, to which it points and that it seeks to avert.
Visiting Fellows and Visiting Professors
Dr Ali is a Lecturer in Islamic Studies at Cardiff University and Research Associate at the Centre for Death & Society (CDAS), University of Bath. In 2015 he was presented with a BISCA (British Imams and Scholars Contribution Award) for best contribution in teaching and research. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and Advisory Board Member of the British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS).
Lucy Coleman Talbot
Lucy is the Community Engagement Officer at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey. Once known as the London Necropolis, Brookwood is the UK’s largest cemetery with the highest consistency of minority burial grounds. Prior to this, Lucy was awarded a fully funded PhD studentship by the University of Winchester (2017). During this time she was recognised with an Outstanding Commitment to Research Award (2018) and became a fellow of the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Her thesis constructed a landscape biography of Crossbones Graveyard in London (2022), arguing for an intersectional approach to heritage management, through engagement with the intragroup differences present in groups and communities, both living and dead. Broadly, her research is concerned with the marginality and materiality of death, from below acts of death ritual and memorialisation, community engagement at cemeteries, and the contemporary function of cemetery space.
Molly has a PhD on the social history of dying and death, and is currently writing a book for Wellcome/Profile, No Ordinary Deaths: A People’s History of Mortality. She co-founded, with Ruth Potts, bread, print & roses, a feminist walking group and small printing press. She has devised and guided over fifty history walks all over the UK, exploring themes of dying, death, grief, memorial, politics, and the environment. Molly is a member of Bristol Radical History Group, and is in training to be a bereavement counsellor.
Inês is an assistant professor at the Department of Conservation and Restoration (DCR) and a researcher at the Research and Development Unit VICARTE (“Glass and Ceramics for the Arts”), both at NOVA School of Science and Technology, in Portugal. At DCR she is responsible for the conservation and restoration of glass and ceramics. Her research has focused on developing innovative methodologies to study historical glass that combines glass archaeometry, archaeology, history, stylistic aspects, history, and production methodologies. The driving force that conducts her research is the desire to tell the untold stories of glass production, which goes from the Roman period to the Industrial Revolution. She currently coordinates the research line entitled ‘Historical Glass in Europe and Beyond: A Different Approach to Glass Studies’ initiated with her PhD. Currently, her research topic is focused on the historical usage of glass objects in funerary contexts and the relation between funerary rituals, the concepts of luxury and the role of craft in the choice of the objects to go into the grave.
Lucy Easthope is a leading authority on recovering from disaster. For over two decades she has challenged others to think differently about what comes next, after tragic events. She has a long association in CDAS on work relating to the care of the dead and the return of personal effects. She is author of 'The Recovery Myth' and The Sunday Times Bestseller 'When The Dust Settles'.
Dr Sibylle Erle, FRSA, FHEA, is the author of Blake, Lavater and Physiognomy (Legenda, 2010) and chapters and articles on William Blake, Henry Fuseli, Johann Caspar Lavater, Alfred Tennyson, Ludwig Meidner and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. She co-curated with Philippa Simpson the display ‘Blake and Physiognomy’ (2010-2011) at Tate Britain, co-edited with Laurie Garrison Science, Technology and the Senses (special issue, RaVoN, 2008), co-edited with Laurie Garrison, Verity Hunt, Phoebe Putnam and Peter West Panoramas, 1787-1900: Texts and Contexts, 5 vols (Pickering & Chatto, 2012). She co-edited with Morton D. Paley The Reception of William Blake in Europe, 2 vols (Bloomsbury, 2019) and with Helen Hendry Monsters: Interdisciplinary Explorations in Monstrosity (special issue, Humanities & Social Sciences Communications, 2019-2020). Apart from Blake and reception, her current research is on monsters and death in literature written for young readers, Tennyson and Swedenborg as well as conceptualisations and representations of ‘character’ in Romantic period literature. Sibylle is a Trustee of The Blake Society and editor of VALA and Editorial Director of Global Blake.
Chao Fang, along with being a CDAS research fellow, works as a research fellow in the Institute of Education at the University College. He completed his PhD at CDAS in 2018 where he worked as a research associate for a CDAS project on older people’s loneliness. Drawing upon his experience in a range of collaborative projects about ageing and end of life care issues across the UK, China, Japan and Australia, Chao is currently conducting a longitudinal qualitative research project on long-Covid, where he will work with researchers from the University of York and many other institutions. Alongside the exciting project, Chao will continue his work in CDAS on further developing a trans-national research network on ageing, end of life care and social policy in the Pacific region.
Helen obtained her PhD on Victorian funeral customs from the University of Leeds in 2009. She continues to publish and speak widely on the history and folklore of death, dying and bereavement, including appearances on the History Channel and BBC Radio. Other previous research, conducted with Dr Stuart Prior, has investigated the informal occupational culture of frontline cemetery staff. Helen is Secretary of the Association for the Study of Death & Society (ASDS) and a Council Member and Trustee of the Folklore Society.
Dr Edina Harbinja is a Reader in Media/Privacy Law, specialising in legal issues related to the Internet and emerging technologies. Her primary areas of research focus on post-mortem privacy - the privacy of deceased individuals. She is widely recognised as a pioneer and expert in this field. She has been a member of the digital death research community for over a decade. Dr Harbinja has published extensively on various aspects of technology law and regulation. She has also served as a visiting scholar and invited speaker at universities and conferences across the USA, Latin America, and Europe. Currently, she is co-leading the European Law Institute project 'Model Rules on Succession of Digital Assets, Data and other Digital Remains'. Over the past decade, Dr Harbinja has played a significant role in influencing and informing legislation and court cases in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Additionally, she has engaged with major technology companies, legal professionals, and civil society organisations, contributing to discussions and decisions in these areas. She has published pieces in news outlets websites, practitioners' magazines etc. (e.g. BBC Tomorrow's World, BBC Ideas, The Nature Outlook, The Guardian, The Verge, The Daily Mail, The Conversation, The Law Society Gazette, The Legal Practice Management Magazine etc.).
Find her on Twitter at @EdinaRI.
Fawn is researcher interested in care homes. After graduating from her BSc Psychology with Sociology (2012, University of Leicester), Fawn worked on healthcare improvement research projects and in care roles, supporting people with dementia and learning disabilities. More recently, Fawn has combined the two strands of her work by undertaking research in care homes. Fawn completed her PhD (2017-2021) which focussed on care home staff decision-making about residents who potentially require a transfer to hospital. She also joined and later led the ENRICH (ENabling Research in Care Homes) team at Clinical Research Network West Midlands (2016-2023). Since completing her PhD, Fawn has been working as a Research Associate at University of Leicester, funded by LOROS hospice, on projects focussed on deteriorating care home residents. In 2023, she was awarded a Mildred Blaxter Fellowship from the Foundation of the Sociology of Health and Illness, which will enable her to build on her PhD work and to use sociological theories of risk to explore ambulance staff experiences of attending call-outs to care homes.
Dr. Christopher Hood is a Reader in Japanese Studies at Cardiff University. His publications include the Japan: The Basics, Osutaka: A Chronicle of Loss in the World's Largest Single Plane Crash, Dealing with Disaster in Japan: Responses to the Flight JL123 Crash, 'Truth and Limitations: Japanese Media and Disasters' (in Handbook of Japanese Media and Popular Culture in Transition), 'Japanese Disaster Narratives of the Early Twenty-First Century: Continuity and Change' (published in French in Ebisu Études japonaises), Disaster Narratives by Design: Is Japan Different?' (International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters) and 'Developing a Model to Explain Modifications to Public Transportation Accident Memorials' (Mortality). He is also the author of the novels Hijacking Japan, Tokyo 20/20 Vision, and FOUR. He was featured in an episode of The Death Studies Podcast in December 2023.
Ori is interested in the cultural space between life and death, exploring states that challenge this binary distinction. His PhD aimed to trace the construction, evolution, and meaning of missingness as a social category. His previous research examined discourses on posthumous reproduction and the negotiations over its cultural implementation. He sees his next study as another layer of an overarching aim to establish connections between different sociological worlds and the sociology of death, life, and the in-between.
Jana Králová is a Lecturer in Social Work at Edinburgh Napier University, an invited member of an organising committee of Challenging Research Group (Birkbeck University of London), fellow at Higher Education Academy, interdisciplinary theorist, and CDAS PhD graduate. Jana's 15 year interdisciplinary research into Social Death exposes the conceptual inadequacies of human rights and social policy and their real-word consequences. To mitigate these, Jana has developed theoretical framework which enables conceptual 'inclusion by default' of those otherwise omitted by theoretical frames of human rights and social policy. Jana welcomes PhD supervision proposals and research collaborations on the topic of social death. #InclusionByDefault, #CureSocialDeath.
Gayle is a sociologist with eclectic research experience and interests. Substantive interests include reproductive and non/parental identities (most particularly non/motherhood/ing); loss and the aftermath of bereavement (including reproductive loss and loss as an adult of a parent or partner); love (beyond the erotic and the romantic); gender, health and wellbeing; travel and transport mobility; working and learning in higher education; gender and crime; food poverty; solitude, loneliness and the differences between them; and insults and the experience of being insulted.
Avril Maddrell is Professor of Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Reading. She is a feminist geographer, with research interests in spaces, landscapes and practices of death, mourning and remembrance; diversity issues; sacred mobilities; and historiography. She is an author/co-author/editor of numerous books, including Mobilities in Life and Death (Springer/IMISCOE 2023); Deathscapes. Spaces for death, dying, mourning and remembrance (Ashgate, 2010); Consolatiionscapes ... (Routledge 2019); Memory, Mourning, Landscape (Rodopi, 2010); Sacred Mobilities (Ashgate, 2015); and Contemporary Encounters in Gender and Religion (Palgrave 2017). She has served as co-editor of international peer review journals Social and Cultural Geography and Gender, Place and Culture; and as Chair of a county branch of SANDS. Research projects include: Cemeteries and Crematoria as public spaces of belonging in Europe: a study of migrant and minority cultural inclusion, exclusion and integration (HERA) https://cemi-hera.org/; Deathscapes and Diversity in multicultural England and Wales. Making space for established minorities' and migrants' bodily remains and associated ritual and remembrance (AHRC-ESRC).
Dr Tal Morse is a media and communication scholar, interested in the mediation of death and attitudes towards death in contemporary society, and he is the author of “The Mourning News: Reporting Violent Death in a Global Age” (2017). His post-doc research at The Minerva Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies of End-of-Life in Tel Aviv University focused on the public deliberation on the “good death”. In recent years, Tal studies digital engagement with death and the use of posthumous digital technologies. His research project as a visiting fellow at CDAS studies the victimology discourse about Covid-19 victims in Israel.
Dr. Bethan Michael-Fox, FRSA, SFHEA works as an Associate Lecturer for the Open University, where she is also an Honorary Associate in the School of English and Creative Writing and a member of the Open Thanatology Research Group. Before going part-time to raise a young family, Beth was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and English at the University of Bedfordshire. Her research interests focus on engagement with death and the dead in popular culture, in particular in English language literature and on television. Beth is the Assistant Editor for the academic journal Mortality, Social Media Manager for the Open Access journal Revenant: Critical and Creative Studies of the Supernatural and co-host of The Death Studies Podcast. She is a General Council Member for the Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS). You can find out more about Beth and her current research projects at www.drbethanmichaelfox.com.
Tamarin’s research explores grief narratives through the lens of creative and literary arts. Her current focus is the ‘emergency creativity’ of ad hoc rituals and beliefs that emerge in response to deaths unsupported by cultural tradition, such as reproductive loss. She holds a DPhil in Fine Art from the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, is a research fellow at Loughborough University, and a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford Centre for Life-Writing, where she previously convened the Lives in Medicine health narratives project in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes. In 2021 she won the Lancet Wakley Essay Prize with a personal account of neonatal bereavement care in the NHS, and her recent collaboration with baby loss charity Held In Our Hearts has since brought therapeutic writing resources to bereaved parents, including through NHS hospitals. Tamarin’s memoir recalling the brief life of her son will be published in 2024.
Dr Dan O'Brien is a historian of death in long-eighteenth-century England. His research primarily focuses on the development of the undertaking trade and the role of the trade in funerals of the period. Dan completed his PhD at the University of Bristol producing a detailed analysis of the early undertaking trade in the west of England, with a specific focus on the prosperous settlements of Bath, Bristol and Salisbury. His current research focuses mostly on London and Dan seeks to understand how the undertakers and their goods were perceived by society, by analysing how funerals were presented in the popular culture of the period. Drawing upon an eclectic range of source materials has enabled him to consider simple, but often overlooked, questions about how people's knowledge about the early trade was formed. Dan has also established himself as a communicator of funeral history, speaking to a wide range of audiences on different themes in mortality history such as funerary gifts, sea burial and mourning jewellery.
Nina is an expert on the interaction between text and image in the field of modern and contemporary French Studies now based at the University of Stirling . More recently she has been focusing on representations of the migrant experience and multilingualism within the museum space. She is also part of the EU-funded H2020 research team working on innovative memory practices in sites of trauma including war museums and mass graves.
Ruth is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the Sociology Department at the University of York. Her background in Sociology is united with an interest in crime and deviance, death studies and popular culture and celebrity. Notably she is now developing a career focused on pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching) and is the Deputy Head of Department (Teaching, Learning and Assessment) as well as the current Chair of Board of Studies. Ruth has established the Death and Culture Network (DaCNet) at York.
Dr. Stacey Pitsilides is an Assistant Professor at Northumbria University, School of Design. Her research explores death and technology through participatory and speculative design methods – collaborating with hospices, festivals, libraries, and scientists. This has been explored through a series of publications, and a body of practice, including the Death Positive Library: Love After Death. This research has been commissioned and installed during NESTA’s FutureFest, London Design Week, the ESRC Festival of Social Science and DesignTO festival, Toronto, Dying. Dialogues series among others, with an online programme during COVID-19. Dr Pitsillides is on the standing committee for the Death Online Research Network and an ASDS council member.
Dr Hannah Rumble has 17 years experience as an academic social anthropologist specialising in death, dying and disposal, both human and more-than-human. Her research has addressed funeral poverty, the natural burial movement, direct cremation, the lived experiences of bereaved people in coroners courts and social care settings, as well as young people's creative responses to death and places of disposal and memory. She has conducted numerous participatory projects with community-based and charity partners in the funeral industry, heritage sector, adult social care and bereavement support services. Her most recent research as a Co-investigator in partnership with the Institute of Crime and Justice Policy Research, Voicing Loss, focused on better supporting bereaved people in Coronial investigations and at inquest hearings. Hannah has co-produced films, art exhibitions and immersive installations with community arts partners, digital designers and film-makers. Until very recently, she was on the Editorial Board of Mortality journal, was formerly the Early Career Researchers Representative for the Association for the Study of Death and Society and remains a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath, and an Associate of the Centre for Death and Life Studies at Durham University.
Dr Bethany Simmonds is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Aberystwyth with expertise in the sociology of ageing and health. Her recent monograph, Ageing and the Crisis in Health and Social Care: Global and National Perspectives, compares the impact of globalisation and neoliberalism on ageing and health and social care in the UK, Germany and Sweden; discussing how different welfare state models in Europe shaped policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit. Currently, she is developing some of the themes which emerged from her book, including moving towards a feminist ethics of care in health and social care systems; the human rights of older people in the health and social care system; the intersections between disablism and ageism in the Covid-19 pandemic; how Covid-19 bereaved families make sense of state failure; and exploring the use of ‘precarity capitalism’ to galvanise intergenerational grievances around climate justice. Bethany, as visiting fellow in CDAS, is interested in working collaboratively with members on these themes, so please do get in contact via email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Johanna Sumiala is Professor at Media and Communication Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at LSE, London. In recent years her work as media anthropologist has focused on theoretical and empirical analyses of digital mediations of death in the contemporary society. Currently she writes about AI, death and immortality. Sumiala’s work appears in several international journals including New Media & Society, Media, Culture & Society, Social Anthropology and Sociology Compass. She has published several books including Media and Ritual. Death, Community and Everyday Life (Routledge, 2013) and Mediated Death (Polity, 2021). Presently, she leads EU CHANSE funded (2022-2024) research consortium on Digital Death. Transforming, History, Rituals and Afterlife (DiDe).
Dr Lindsay Udall is a historical archaeologist who graduated with her PhD from the University of Bristol in 2019. She is also an alumnus of the University of Birmingham where she obtained her MA in Landscape Archaeology & Geomatics and her BA Honours in Archaeology. During her career, Lindsay has worked for the Environment Agency and in architectural conservation before holding research posts with the Bath Preservation Trust and the Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust. The latter of which, Arnos Vale Cemetery, became the subject of her AHRC funded CDA PhD, and she is now an expert on the site, its landscape and history. Lindsay is a specialist on the development of the Victorian garden cemetery, and on burial grounds, deathscapes and crematoria. She has a range of research interests in death and memory which include, sites of memory, exploring landscape as artefact and technology, the theory and application of genealogical research concerning cemeteries and burials grounds, necrogeography, network theory, medical history, and microhistory. Lindsay has previously designed a course on how to research and map churchyards for students and lectured to students and genealogists. She has also been a trustee for the Ledger Stone Survey of England and Wales. She is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at CDAS and is establishing a project entitled Buried Biographies, which is an interfaith project. Lindsay is exploring cemeteries and genealogy research across the faiths. This is with a view to providing research skills and knowledge exchange for old and young people within the local vicinity of selected and participating cemeteries.
Renske Visser completed her doctoral studies with the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath. She is a Medical Anthropologist interested in ageing and dying and the role place and space play at the end of life. Her PhD looked at the notion of home and homemaking in later life. She has conducted research on ageing in secure psychiatric hospitals, parental bereavement in young adulthood and cancer care in prison. In 2021 she started her blog Dead Good Reading where she reviews both academic and non-academic books on all things death, but has grown a particular interest in grief memoirs. She is the co-host of The Death Studies Podcast and also works as a Dutch language teacher.
Jo Wilson, Consultant Nurse Palliative Care, Royal Free Hospital
Jo is a registered nurse (adult) and team leader of family and bereavement support at Helen and Douglas House (children’s hospice). Prior to her appointment to this role, her PhD took a mixed methods approach and focused on how senior health care professionals recognise dying and negotiate decision-making with patients and families. She has co-led writing national guidance on care after death and Registered Nurse Verification of Expected Adult Death. In a previous role as Nurse Consultant at the Royal Free Hospitals London NHS Foundation Trust she has led three palliative care teams (two hospital teams, and one community) and clinically supervised a bereavement service supporting families during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.