On encountering corpses: political, socio-economic and cultural aspects of contemporary encounters with dead bodies.

Lead Research Organisation: Manchester Metropolitan University
Department Name: School of Science and the Environment

Abstract

Encounters with dead bodies are becoming more commonplace in a range of socio-cultural, socio-economic, political, medical and emotional contexts. However, public understanding of, and academic research regarding, these encounters is limited and not very coherent. Changing social attitudes, new technologies, migration and multi-culturalism, medical demands and economic opportunities relating to dead bodies are changing rapidly. Migrant communities bring different demands in terms of claims on space connected to the rituals and practices of bodily disposal in the UK (eg. how are cemeteries organized, how can different burial practices be accommodated?). Social trends regarding the dead body are also changing. There is a strong class divergence with respect to viewing the body before burial, for example. Alternative choices of bodily disposal are also increasingly popular, such as different ways of disposing of funerary ashes or choices about forms of 'green' burial. Forms of artistic practice (eg. the "Bodyworlds" exhibition of plasticised human remains), archaeology (eg. Richard III's remains), popular culture (eg. TV forensic crime series) and tourism products (eg. 'dark tourism') and their media coverage have made human remains more visible in the everyday. The donation of bodies for medical research and the global trade in post-mortem body parts, combined with the growth of technologies that make these possible, also bring the dead body into play in contemporary social encounters which raise important questions about the regulation and management of biomedical material and the experience of relatives of the dead.

This series of meetings will thus bring together a wide range of researchers and practitioners with the aim of increasing understanding of these changing social trends related to managing, disposing of and presenting dead bodies. In each seminar a range of international academics and professionals involved in managing human remains will debate present-day societal, cultural, ethical and technological concerns related to the dead. The discussions will cover a wide range of contexts, from funerals to tourism, donating bodies for medical research to the economic trade in body parts, accommodating 'green' and faith-based requirements for burial, understanding the ethics of disturbing human remains (eg. in major infrastructure projects such as London Crossrail or HS2), to the use of dead bodies by political regimes.

The seminars will also produce information for the various professionals and members of the public who encounter the dead in these contexts. A key outcome is to enhance understandings of social attitudes and practices with regard to the dead body in these situations and to explore the implications for policy-making and practice eg. how should churches, local authorities and cemetery managers use space to accommodate different faith groups, what kinds of new products might a manufacturer produce for the growing market in 'green' burials, how might a tourism company sensitively use human remains for economic gain? In all of these contexts and processes the seminars are also aimed at generating a better understanding of public attitudes in order to ensure that the dead are dealt with sensitively and in an ethical way.

Planned Impact

The seminar series has considerable potential to achieve impact with a variety of research users. Non-academic participants will be a significant feature of each seminar, both in developing the focus of each seminar, contributing to the debates and co-producing material which will be made more widely available to non-academic audiences for longer-term impact through the 'Pathways to impact'. There are 3 key areas where it is possible to identify who will benefit from the seminar series and how:

1) understanding social, cultural, professional and faith-based differences in conceptualising the dead body (Seminars 1-3) - the seminar series will debate how the dead are conceptualised materially ('dead bodies'/'human remains'/'corpses'?), theologically (is the 'corpse' merely a container?), socially (eg. social class trends in viewing the deceased before burial, social attitudes to excavating archaeological remains) and culturally (eg. the demands of different faith and diaspora groups regarding how the dead are treated before and during burial). Practical knowledge will thus be co-produced with inter-faith groups, religious practitioners involved in burials, local councils and cemetery management reconciling the UK planning system with faith-based burial requirements, community archaeology projects, museums of natural history, transport bodies and planners, city planners and civil engineers. The seminars will co-produce understandings of how different social/cultural/professional/faith groups conceptualise the corpse and what the implications of this for managing and regulating such encounters.

2) managing and regulating the treatment and representation of human remains (Seminars 4-5) - human remains and their representation are increasingly present in contemporary political processes (eg. reburial of national figures in former communist Eastern Europe, photographic records of those killed by the Syrian regime) and in niche tourism products such as sites associated with 'dark tourism' eg. battlefield tourism, sites of atrocities). A range of political and commercial actors are thus increasingly having to respond to the issues associated with using the dead as political subjects or as commodified material suitable for economic exploitation. These include, in the former case, local and national governments (and those who may oppose them), the military, the church, and in the latter local and national tourism boards, commercial tourism companies, managers of heritage sites, and tour guides. The knowledge co-produced in the seminars will inform political strategies of using the dead as political subjects and opportunities to resist such constructions and also inform tourism and heritage practitioners about issues to consider when representing the dead in public or private-led tourism.

3) managing and regulating the materiality of the dead body (Seminars 6-8) - recent changes in social attitudes to the use of the body after death, combined with changing medical/commercial demand and new technologies, have led to the emergence of new situations in which there is a requirement for knowledge regarding how to manage and regulate how dead bodies are used and treated eg. how are body parts extracted and then maintained during global circuits of trade, what different technological and material innovations are required for containing and presenting the dead body during 'ecological' burials, the process of donating dead bodies to anatomy units. Here knowledge can disseminated regarding policy formation and legal aspects (eg. regulating trade in body parts), manufacturing techniques (eg. new forms of wrapping or burial caskets for 'green' burials), market information for commercial companies involved in 'ecological' burial, practice in medical laboratories, medical schools and anatomy units including dealing with relatives of the deceased and patient welfare groups, and local government.
 
Description Significant new knowledge generated: Overall the research seminar series has developed a systematic body of knowledge about how the dead are increasingly encountered in today's society. This has generated a series of insights into how this is changing social relations and posing challenges to regulation, management and societal changes with regard to death and the dead body. This includes: understanding the impacts of the apparent de-sequestration of death; exploring how this de-sequestration of death is blurring and challenging boundaries such as public-private practices of disposal, grieving and commemoration; opening up debates on new technologies for bodily disposal and their social, economic and environmental impacts; and understanding how this de-sequestration is blurring the boundaries of 'deathwork' (who is responsible for the dead?) and the importance of understanding the emotional labour involved and issues around displaying and representing the dead; managing and regulating both traditional spaces of body disposal (eg. the pressure on burial space) and also new(-er) forms of disposal (eg. ashes scattering in public spaces or donating bodies to anatomy units); conceptually, the immense difficulties in developing a single model for conceptualising the corpse/dead body/human remains (empty container, sacred vessel, dividuality, multiple ontologies) and how might this be important in a range of contexts (eg. Islamic dream interpretations, martyrdom and counter-terrorism). Important new research questions opened up: the important new questions opened up relate to these key finings and are also being taken forward in the new collaborations being described below. These include: do the various developments in bodily disposal support theoretical arguments about the de-sequestraton of death? What is the role of new technologies and practices of bodily disposal in challenging boundaries eg. between public/private in relation to practices of bodily disposal and grieving? What are the implications for people managing and working in sites of bodily disposal which are now broadening beyond cemeteries and crematoria to anatomy units, spaces of leisure and tourism, public space? How does this impact on the emotional state and emotional labour of people now encountering death in a much wider range of contexts? Does this also relate to contemporary debates around assisted dying? How can these issues be extended beyond consideration of humans into cyborg/hyrbid and animal bodies and death? If Particularly noteworthy new research networks/collaborations/partnerships: a key outcome of involvement in the research seminar series has been the creation of new collaborations primarily focused on extending the themes of the series through larger-scale grant bids. Currently four large-scale bids for external funding are either complete or near to submission. In each case they develop findings from the seminar series and/or involve members of the network working together along with new partners. These are detailed on ResearchFish under 'collaborations' but can be summarised as: Troyer developing new synergies within Bath University leading to an EPSRC bid on new body disposal technology; Troyer leading a £1m bid for a Wellcome Trust hub on Future Death arising out the Bath seminar; Young/Rugg collaborating with Bournemouth University and submitting an ESRC standard grant on contested spaces of ashes scattering in spaces of tourism and leisure (£540k); Young/Davies collaborating with Chester/Edinburgh/Durham universities to prepare a bid to the Wellcome Trust on Pet Death and Owner Wellbeing (£1.4m). Increased research capability generated from training delivered in specialist skills: there are initial examples of the knowledge and ideas generated by the research seminars being applied in training and education contexts which will increase research capacity. More generally, several PhDs are currently supervised by network members, and the results from the seminars have influenced PhD supervision and project development. One example is Young who now supervises a PhD on 'Where is death in Dark Tourism?', a topic which has been influenced by leading this seminar network and specific seminars on eg. Dark Tourism. Specialist training has also been delivered in the area of heritage management and museums. In other cases findings from the research seminars and associated research are now being fed directly into training at eg. Masters level. One example is the inclusion of social aspects of body donation as part of the curriculum of the MSc in Clinical Anatomy at Hull York Medical School. Thus insights from the research seminar are now directly incorporated into the training of anatomy students.
Exploitation Route An overall theme emerging from the seminar series which summarises the potential use of the various findings is that the various contemporary encounters with the dead body considered (taken as part of a more generalised de-sequestration of death) are challenging a huge range of practices and are destabilising boundaries in ways that will demand new forms of management, regulation, training and creative solutions involving new technology and new practices. As encounters with the dead body (or representations of it) become more common then there are implications for the regulation, management, and display of the dead body that affect a number of professional and training contexts. This would include: 1) the role of new technologies in bodily disposal, the development, manufacturing and marketing of the technologies themselves, their social acceptability (or otherwise) and their environmental impacts and benefits; 2) the economic opportunities linked with tourism, leisure, creating and marketing new technologies for bodily disposal and/or commodifying the dead body; 3) providing training and support for students at UG, Masters and PhD levels and also professionals in a growing range of occupations which develop an appreciation of the implications of the emotional labor involved - this may seem obvious in contexts such as anatomy units, but it is also growing in fields such as heritage management where staff never expected to encounter death eg. managing National Trust properties or leisure spaces where covert ashes scattering is increasingly common; 4) informing social policy and community initiatives which are designed to support people encountering or considering different methods of disposal or commemorating their loved ones; 5) the development of a range of alternatives to burial or dedicated sites for ashes scattering.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Retail,Other

 
Description The Research Seminar Series has lead to emerging areas of non-academic impact, particularly in the areas of: 1) Changes in/development of curatorial/museum practice: Members of the research team have been involved in advisory panels and new partnerships with public sector organisations responsible for preparing and delivering major museum exhibitions relating to the dead body. Members of the research team have performed advisory roles in which they advised these organisations on issues to do with managing and displaying the dead body and human remains. This also informed museum practice in preparing displays for the general public and school groups and managing the encounter with the dead body. 2) Shaping professional practice in heritage management and clinical anatomy through training: Members of the research team actively shaped professional practice among local authorities, heritage managers and museum curators by contributing to training workshops which developed skills in managing the handling and display of human remains. Preliminary findings have been incorporated into the postgraduate education and training of Clinical Anatomy staff to emphasise the social aspects of their work. Further dissemination to these professionals will take place at a conference to archaeologists and anatomists in early 2018. 3) Informing corporate strategy: Members of the research team extended relationships with major corporate organisations involved in the funeral industry, advising them on public attitudes to preparing for death and bodily disposal which informed corporate strategy. Outcomes from the early research have contributed to the design and content of the Thanksgiving service of the Hull York Medical School and this information will be disseminated in feedback to the contributing Anatomy Units. 4) Informing current practice in child and other bereavement: Members of the research team have been involved in a number of collaborations focused on shaping current practice in bereavement support in cases of child death. This has involved, for example, dissemination of research findings on death dying and bereavement to a range of organisations and the integration of local groups into research proposals. A range of types of organisations are involved, from major UK child bereavement charities to local hospices, child and youth organisations, local schools and university and bereavement organisations. Conversations are ongoing with a BBC2 production team developing a programme on the process of dying. Additional research on the impact of documentaries on donation intentions expressed on social media contributed to this discussion.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Education,Healthcare,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Dr Duncan Sayer advisor and participant in Cambridge University's Archaeology and Anthropology Museum exhibition on The Archaeology of Childhood
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Dr Sayer advised on an exhibition in Cambridge on The Archaeology of Childhood (January 2016-January 2017). Human remains from Dr Sayer's excavations in Oakington (2010-2015) are on display in Cambridge University's Archaeology and Anthropology Museum as part of this exhibition. The ESRC seminar and debate helped to cement relationships with Cambridge County Council who are partners in this exhibition and supported advising the museum about the display of human remains.
URL http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/the-archaeology-of-childhood
 
Description Dr John Troyer acted as key advisor for Bristol Museum's "Death: The Human Experience" exhibition, 24-10-15 to 13-03-16
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Dr Troyer (a Research Seminar Series Co-I at University of Bath) advised the Bristol Museum during their preparations for this highly successful exhibit on the issues of how the dead human body is handled and how the corpse is encountered in many ways. The exhibit attracted up to 1000 visitors per day from the general public and school groups etc.
URL http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Bristol-Museum-8217-s-death-exhibition-sees-10/story-28205905-detail/st...
 
Description Social aspects of body donation now part of curriculum of MSc in Clinical Anatomy at Hull York Medical School
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Training workshops on 'Human Remains In Commercial Archaeology: Legal, Ethical and Curatorial Considerations'
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Dr Sayer contributed to three training workshops on 'Human Remains In Commercial Archaeology: Legal, Ethical and Curatorial Considerations' for Historic England in London (May 2015), York (July 2015) and Manchester (February 2016). These involved archaeological, heritage and commercial managers working in the public and private sector and influenced their professional development and practice with regard to curatorial practices around human remans. Further workshops are planned.
 
Description Academy of Medical Sciences INSPIRE
Amount £800 (GBP)
Organisation Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2016 
End 08/2016
 
Description British Sociological Association Support Fund (postgraduate fieldwork support)
Amount £250 (GBP)
Organisation British Sociological Association (BSA) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 07/2017
 
Description ESRC Festival of Social Sciences
Amount £800 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 11/2016
 
Description Hull City of Culture Programme Fund
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Council 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 11/2016
 
Description Hull York Medical School Centre for Health and Population Studies, Doctoral Fieldwork travel bursary
Amount £250 (GBP)
Organisation Hull York Medical School 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2017 
End 12/2017
 
Description University of Hull Doctoral Scholarship Scheme
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Hull 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2015 
End 08/2018
 
Description Application to the Wellcome Trust Hub Programme for a hub on The future of death - Dr John Troyer PI 
Organisation University of Bath
Department Centre for Death & Society
PI Contribution Dr John Troyer at CDAS is the PI on this £1m application and has lead the intellectual development behind the idea for the Hub and lead on developing the application.
Collaborator Contribution Dr John Troyer at CDAS is the PI on this £1m application and has lead the intellectual development behind the idea for the Hub and lead on developing the application.
Impact Application to Wellcome Trust.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Child Bereavement UK - Hull Advisory Group 
Organisation Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Dissemination of research finding on death dying and bereavement. Integration of local groups in research proposals. Collaboration with Child Bereavement UK and local hospices, child and youth organisations, local schools and university and bereavement organisations.
Collaborator Contribution Dissemination of local projects on child bereavement, youth mental health and training for practitioners.
Impact Quarterly meetings between educational and community organisations on local strategies for addressing child bereavement. Involves medical science, sociology, social work, youth and community work.
Start Year 2014
 
Description New collaboration on ESRC Standard Grant bid on the Contested Space of Ashes Scattering 
Organisation Bournemouth University
Department Department of Tourism & Hospitality
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two members of the seminar series network (Young/MMU and Rugg/York) have collaborated with Dr Duncan Light at Bournemouth and this has led to the submission of an ESRC Standard Grant application *c.£540k) to research the contested spaces of cremation ashes scattering in the UK, particularly examine leisure and tourism spaces.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on the grant application and initial research.
Impact Application to ESRC for two year project.
Start Year 2016
 
Description New collaboration on ESRC Standard Grant bid on the Contested Space of Ashes Scattering 
Organisation University of York
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two members of the seminar series network (Young/MMU and Rugg/York) have collaborated with Dr Duncan Light at Bournemouth and this has led to the submission of an ESRC Standard Grant application *c.£540k) to research the contested spaces of cremation ashes scattering in the UK, particularly examine leisure and tourism spaces.
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration on the grant application and initial research.
Impact Application to ESRC for two year project.
Start Year 2016
 
Description New collaboration on bid to Wellcome Trust for a project on Pet Death and Owner Wellbeing 
Organisation Durham University
Department Department of Theology and Religion
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two of the seminar series network (Davies and Young) have established a new collaboration with the Universities of Chester and Edinburgh and colleagues in Geography at Durham University. This has lead to the submission (late March 2018) of a c.£1.4m bid to the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Projects in Humanities and Social Sciences on the subject of Pet Death and Owner Wellbeing. The project will be an innovative exploration of the illness, death, bodily disposal and memorialisation of pets and the impact on the wellbeing of owners but also industry professionals.
Collaborator Contribution The new collaboration underpinned the intellectual development of this proposal and identified the key interdisciplinary contributions which underpin the bid.
Impact Bid to the Wellcome Trust (to be submitted March 23 2018).
Start Year 2017
 
Description New collaboration on bid to Wellcome Trust for a project on Pet Death and Owner Wellbeing 
Organisation University of Chester
Department Department of Theology and Religious Studies
PI Contribution Two of the seminar series network (Davies and Young) have established a new collaboration with the Universities of Chester and Edinburgh and colleagues in Geography at Durham University. This has lead to the submission (late March 2018) of a c.£1.4m bid to the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Projects in Humanities and Social Sciences on the subject of Pet Death and Owner Wellbeing. The project will be an innovative exploration of the illness, death, bodily disposal and memorialisation of pets and the impact on the wellbeing of owners but also industry professionals.
Collaborator Contribution The new collaboration underpinned the intellectual development of this proposal and identified the key interdisciplinary contributions which underpin the bid.
Impact Bid to the Wellcome Trust (to be submitted March 23 2018).
Start Year 2017
 
Description New collaboration on bid to Wellcome Trust for a project on Pet Death and Owner Wellbeing 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department Royal School of Veterinary Studies
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two of the seminar series network (Davies and Young) have established a new collaboration with the Universities of Chester and Edinburgh and colleagues in Geography at Durham University. This has lead to the submission (late March 2018) of a c.£1.4m bid to the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Projects in Humanities and Social Sciences on the subject of Pet Death and Owner Wellbeing. The project will be an innovative exploration of the illness, death, bodily disposal and memorialisation of pets and the impact on the wellbeing of owners but also industry professionals.
Collaborator Contribution The new collaboration underpinned the intellectual development of this proposal and identified the key interdisciplinary contributions which underpin the bid.
Impact Bid to the Wellcome Trust (to be submitted March 23 2018).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Research on the the alkaline hydrolysis method of bodily disposal and EPSRC funding bid 
Organisation University of Bath
Department Centre for Death & Society
PI Contribution Dr John Troyer of the ESRC research seminar network has now brought together CDAS and the Centre for Water Research at the University of Bath to develop research into the use of alkaline hydrolysis method as a means of bodily disposal. Dr Troyer has developed research and knowledge on alkaline hydrolysis through the research seminar that he organised on The dead body and technology which he is contributing to the joint research.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Troyer has developed research and knowledge on alkaline hydrolysis through the research seminar that he organised on The dead body and technology which he is contributing to the joint research. That research is using the findings to explore how the general public responds to new methods of dead body disposal.
Impact Collaborative research into alkaline hydrolysis which will be developed into knowledge exchange activities. A funding bid has been submitted to the EPSRC.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Research on the the alkaline hydrolysis method of bodily disposal and EPSRC funding bid 
Organisation University of Bath
Department Water Innovation and Research Centre
PI Contribution Dr John Troyer of the ESRC research seminar network has now brought together CDAS and the Centre for Water Research at the University of Bath to develop research into the use of alkaline hydrolysis method as a means of bodily disposal. Dr Troyer has developed research and knowledge on alkaline hydrolysis through the research seminar that he organised on The dead body and technology which he is contributing to the joint research.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Troyer has developed research and knowledge on alkaline hydrolysis through the research seminar that he organised on The dead body and technology which he is contributing to the joint research. That research is using the findings to explore how the general public responds to new methods of dead body disposal.
Impact Collaborative research into alkaline hydrolysis which will be developed into knowledge exchange activities. A funding bid has been submitted to the EPSRC.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Technology and Mortality Research Group 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Department Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dissemination of research. Exchange of theoretical and empirical knowledge from collaborations with ESRC funded project, University of Sheffield ''End Of' or 'Start Of' Life? Visual Technology and The Transformation of Traditional Post-Mortem', and researchers from The Maternal, Reproductive and Sexual Health Research Group in the School of Health and Social Work, University of Hull.
Collaborator Contribution Dissemination of research. Exchange of theoretical and empirical knowledge.
Impact Joint research workshop and planned contribution to ESRC seminar.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Uncomfortable Conversations 
Organisation Dying Well Community Charter Pathfinder
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution A collaborative initiative between the Centre of End of Life Studies and Dove House Hospice's Dying Well Community Charter Pathfinder. Dissemination of research. Exchange of theoretical and empirical knowledge.
Collaborator Contribution Dissemination of research. Exchange of theoretical and empirical knowledge.
Impact Discussion group between academic and community partners. Research networking.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Conference poster presentation - Hull York Medical School Post-graduate conference and Supportive Care, Early Diagnosis and Advanced Disease Research Group Research conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Research seminar series network members Dr Julie Seymour and Dr Trish Green, along with PhD students Murphy and Bazira, presented a research poster on Key Areas of Enquiry into the Family Liaison Work completed by Medical School Anatomy Unit Staff throughout the Body Donation Process, at the HYMS Postgraduate Conference, 8th June, and SEDA Research Conferences, 27th September 2017. This involved network members involving and supporting PhD students in presenting their research results.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Duncan Sayer hosted major internal conference Death, Dying and Disposal 13 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The international conference Death, Dying and Disposal 13 was hosted at UCLan in September 2017. It was hosted by Dr Duncan Sayer on behalf of the Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS) as a direct result of Dr. Sayer's involvement in the ESRC Research Seminar Series. It featured researchers from all over the world particular the UK, USA and the Netherlands in 14 parallel sessions and three field trips. The theme was Ritual Religion and Magic in Death, Dying and Disposal, and included the spiritual aspect of the human experience and the encounter with death. Dr Sayer was part of the ESRC network and was inspired by participation within it to explore additional aspects of the encounter with the corpse in an interdisciplinary context.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.deathandsociety.org/pages/ddd13-conference.php
 
Description Dr Duncan Sayer presented a seminar paper Ancient corpses and contemporary society; encounters with the (pre)historic dead 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Duncan Sayer (Project Co-I) presented a seminar paper on 'Ancient corpses and contemporary society; encounters with the (pre)historic dead' at the Department of Archaeolgy, Anthropology and Sociology, Universität of Hamburg (November 2015) which drew directly on debates and issues raised in the Uclan 'Encountering Corpses' seminar.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Dr John Troyer participated in Assisted Dying Panel Debate, Bristol Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr John Troyer (Project Co-I, Bath University) incorporated ideas from the "Encountering Corpses" Research Seminar Series into a panel debate on Assisted Dying held at the Bristol Museum, 26-1-16.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/assisted-dying-panel-debat...
 
Description Dr John Troyer presented talk on Spectacular Dead Taxidermy in the Bristol Museum Winter Lecture Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr John Troyer (Project Co-I, Bath University) gave a tlak in the Bristol Museum's Winter Lecture Series on how nineteenth century preservation technologies radically changed and mechanically altered the dead animal body as well as the human corpse, producing new kinds of taxidermy, which draws directly on issues discussed in the Encountering Corpses Research Seminar Series.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/whats-on/winter-lecture-spectacular...
 
Description Dr John Troyer took part in the film screening and public debate Watershed: Re-imagining Death in a Digital World: Soylent Green, Bristol Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr John Troyer (Project Co-I, Bath University) participated in a public debate following a screening of the flim 'Soylent Green' focusing on a discussion about the film and the current thinking about the future of death and the dead body.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.watershed.co.uk/whatson/7127/soylent-green-discussion
 
Description Dr Julie Seymour and Dr Trish Green et al. presented to the Boundaries, Bodies, Borders: The Global Exchange of Human Body Parts conference, University of Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Murphy, Z., Bazira, P., Green, T. and Seymour, J. (2017) 'Body Donation to Medical Science: The Movement of Bodies between UK Medical School Anatomy Units', presented at the conference Boundaries, Bodies, Borders: The Global Exchange of Human Body Parts, University of Leeds, 5th May 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Julie Seymour presented to the Science and Technology in Society (SATIS) Research Group, University of Sheffield 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Julie Seymour presented on 'Emotional Labour with Families Post Body Donation. The 'Hidden Work' of Medical School Anatomy Units', to the Science and Technology in Society (SATIS) Research Group, University of Sheffield, 17th May 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Julie Seymour seminar presentation on 'Doing' and 'Displaying' Family. Using new Family Studies concepts in Health Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Julie Seymour (Project Co-I, Hull York Medical School) gave a seminar presentation on "'Doing' and 'Displaying' Family. Using new Family Studies concepts in Health Research" which included cases from family responses to body donation to medical schools, 1-3-16. Presented in the Supportive Care, Early Diagnosis and Advanced Disease Research Group (SEDA) of Hull York Medical School.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Encountering Corpses project blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An "Encountering Corpses" blog has been established on Wordpress. This showcases the ESRC Research Seminar Series and also related "Encountering Corpses" events. Guest blogs are also being invited, particularly from postgraduate students to broaden the inclusivity and reach of the site. So far 227 visitors have logged 447 views from across the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
URL https://encounteringcorpses.wordpress.com/
 
Description Establishment of new online journal Current Issues in Dark Tourism Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Establishment of a new online journal/research hub publishing academic articles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.dark-tourism.org.uk
 
Description Hull City of Culture Encountering Corpses event, Re-encountering those we have lost, University of Hull 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Research seminar no. 8 was followed by a free Hull City of Culture public event entitled 'Re-encountering those we have lost'. This featured a poetry reading by 2009 Costa Book Award winning poet Christopher Reid, who read from his anthology A Scattering, written as a tribute to his late wife, the actress Lucinda Gane. One poem, 'Afterlife', charts his thoughts on passing the hospital where she left her body to medical research, which directly resonated with the early research seminar at the Hull York Medical School on liaison with family members of body donors.This was followed by a performance art piece A Salt Circle by Zoë Uí Fhaoláin focusing on loss, memory and memorialisation associated with Ireland's cillíníi, the burial grounds of unbaptised children in Ireland. After extensive research into Ireland's cillíníi via reading, listening, and visiting many archaeological sites, Zoë uses sound, movement and powerful visual imagery to conjure these liminal spaces into being, drawing on folk tradition and ritual. Her focus is on those parents who lost their babies and were denied the opportunity of a proper burial ceremony and their rights to openly mourn and grieve, as well as the continuing taboos around women's pregnancy and birth experiences.

The performances were followed by a Q & A with the artists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://culturenet.co.uk/events/re-encountering-those-we-have-lost
 
Description Media coverage arising from Seminar 1 (Prof. Douglas Davies) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Following on from Seminar 1, Prof. Douglas Davies (Project Co-I, Durham University) was engaged in a series of media interviews which included issues raised from the seminar and work done through further collaboration with Co-operative Funeral Services. This included TV coverage from BBC and Reuters. Local and national radio coverage was achieved through interviews with: BBC Radio Northampton, 102.5 The Bridge, U105 (Belfast), Premier Christian Radio, Lyca Dilse, BBC Radio Cambridge, Yorkshire Coast Radio, BBC World Service, Share Radio, Downtown Radio (NI) and Waves Radio (NE Scotland).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Press release - Seminar 6: UCLan hosts dark tourism conference for global experts at former Lancaster prison 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Former prison is fitting setting to explore death and disaster.

UCLan hosts dark tourism conference for global experts at former Lancaster prison.

The 'A Wing' of a former Lancaster prison provided the ideal backdrop this week for dark tourism experts from around the world to examine society's interest in sites of death and disaster.

Organised by the University of Central Lancashire's (UCLan) Institute for Dark Tourism Research, together with project partners from the Universities of Manchester Metropolitan, Bath, Durham, Hull, and York, the 'Packaging up Death and the Dead for the Contemporary Visitor Economy' conference invited speakers from the UK and USA to look at what makes people want to visit sites of death, disaster or the seemingly macabre; how appropriate this may be and if visiting some sites of so called dark or disaster tourism is insensitive and exploits those affected by them.

The event was aptly held at what is considered to be one of Lancashire's most iconic site of dark tourism, the former 'A Wing' of HM Lancaster Prison at Lancaster Castle.
The Executive Director of the UCLan Institute for Dark Tourism Research, Dr Philip Stone, organised the booked-up conference. He said: "Over the past twenty years or so there has been an increasing academic and media focus on 'dark tourism', which has the capacity to expand boundaries of the imagination and to provide the modern visitor with potentially life-changing points of shock.

"Dark tourism and cultural heritage overlap when considering themes of war, disaster, tragedy or social conflict, and memory and identity are in question. Of
course the interpretations of these themes are understandably prone to concerns about inclusion, exploitation, sensitivity and appropriateness. I would argue that developing touristic opportunities at particular difficult heritage sites is an increasing, and perhaps inevitable, feature of creating what is known as contemporary traumascapes; sites which bear the physical and psychological scars of suffering."

Another UCLan speaker, Associate Lecturer in Tourism Management Dr Daniel Wright, shared his provocative research which paints a sombre scenario for the future of tourism in 2200 in which hunting humans could become a form of tourism entertainment.

He said: "What the future of tourism will look like is open to debate. Hunting humans: A future for tourism in 2200, is a research paper that explores past and current societal trends. What I've presented is a provocative dystopian future scenario where entertainment, violence and human assassination are seen to be a normalised tourist activity."
Other topics examined Lancaster's own slave heritage and the ways that contemporary artists and academics ensure that history is not forgotten, the spectacle of punishment and prisons, and the appropriateness of children visiting sites of death and disaster.

Dr Stone added: "This conference was a huge success in the sense it brought local, national and international scholars, students, and industry people together from a broad array of subject areas. We encounter and commemorate death in many ways in contemporary society and the conference allowed us a critical insight of how 'dark tourism' can mediate life and living through the significant dead."

'Packaging up Death and the Dead' for the Contemporary Visitor Economy: A Dark Tourism and Heritage Perspective, is part of the 'Encountering Corpses' project led by Professor Craig Young from Manchester Metropolitan University, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Seminar Series 2014 - 2017. Other speakers were Professor Mary Margaret Kerr from the University of Pittsburgh, Professor Alan Rice from UCLan, Dr Paul Fallon from Sheffield Hallam University and Dr Sarah Hodgkinson from University of Leicester.

For more information about the 'Encountering Corpses' project visit
https://encounteringcorpses.wordpress.com/

ENDS

Notes to editors

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston was founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. Since those early days it has grown into one of the UK's largest universities with a staff and student community approaching 38,000 and an employment-focused course portfolio containing over 350 undergraduate programmes and nearly 250 postgraduate courses. The University has an established research reputation with world-leading or internationally excellent work taking place within the areas of Business, Health, Humanities and Science.

As a truly global institution with an established campus in Cyprus, UCLan's student body includes 120 nationalities and its partnership network extends to 125 countries. In 2013 the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings awarded UCLan the full five stars for its global outlook in all aspects of international educational provision. In 2015 the Centre for World University Rankings placed UCLan in the top 3.8 percent of all worldwide universities.

The University has a strong focus on continually improving the student experience and recently unveiled a 10-year, £200 million plan to redevelop its Preston Campus to create an attractive and inviting, world-class campus helping to create jobs, kick-start regeneration and attract inward investment into the City.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Prof. Craig Young, international conference presentation at the 12th Death, Dying and Disposal international conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Prof. Craig Young presented a paper on 'Exploring the geographies of burial at sea' at the 12th Death, Dying and Disposal international conference, Alba Iulia, Romania, Dec. 2015.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.deathandsociety.org/pages/ddd12-conference.php
 
Description Professor Craig Young Inaugural Lecture Making a place for the dead: developing inter-disciplinary perspectives on contemporary encounters with dead bodies, Manchester Metropolitan University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Craig Young presented his Inaugural Lecture on the topic of "Making a place for the dead: developing inter-disciplinary perspectives on contemporary encounters with dead bodies" at Manchester Metropolitan University, September 2015. The talk was open to the public as part of MMU's Humanities in Public (HiP) year-long festival of humanities and social science research, and also formed part of the programme for Manchester 'Year of Science' 2016. Industry professionals such as funeral directors also attended. The talk drew directly on Prof. Young's experience of leading the Research Seminar Series as PI and reflections on seminars which had been held.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/hip/news/detail/index.php?id=3800
 
Description Professor Craig Young, international workshop presentation at the workshop Deathscapes of the Future: International perspectives on mobility, diversity and sustainability, UWE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Prof. Craig Young presented the paper "'Or resort to the Waters if you feel at home there': exploring the sea as current and future deathscape" at the workshop 'Deathscapes of the Future: International perspectives on mobility, diversity and sustainability', UWE, Bristol, 7 July 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2016
 
Description Public engagement event - An afternoon of encountering the dead of Grosvenor Square 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This event engaged the general public and attendees at the final seminar series event. Grosvenor (or All Saints) Park is located on MMU's All Saints campus and was formerly the site of a church. Research by MMU historian and PhD candidate Michaela Hulme has uncovered the records of the 16,000+ bodies still interred in the site. This artistic intervention was thus designed to engage the public which the existence of human remains in the site. Helen Darby (MMU) convened an art installation in the park, with tabs etched with the names of some of those buried there hung from the trees. Artists Debbie Sharp created a sound installation which could be listened to while walking in the park. Historian Michaela Hulme presented a history of the site, and Dr Ian Drew from MMU School of Science and the Environment gave a presentation about his ground penetrating radar survey of the site. The visit to the park was followed by an open discussion of this encounter with the dead.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.humanityhallows.co.uk/encountering-corpses-at-all-saints-park/
 
Description Public engagement event - poetry reading from Food for Risen Bodies by Prof. Michael Symmons Roberts 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of the final project conference the International Anthony Burgess Centre in Manchester hosted an evening of poetry reading accompanied by bread and wine. Professor Michael Symmons Roberts, Professor of Poetry at MMU. Professor Roberts read from his cycle on 'Food for Risen Bodies' from his 2004 anthology Corpus (winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.humanityhallows.co.uk/writing-a-resurrection-michael-symmons-roberts-reads-at-encounterin...
 
Description Public film screening - Earth promised sky 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An evening screening of the documentary 'Earth promised sky', directed by Sabina Subasic (2003) was open to the public as a follow-up to the 5th seminar in the series.

This documentary focuses on the exhumation of mass graves and the identification of remains from the Bosnian War (1992-95) for the Bosnian Commission for Missing Persons.

The film was introduced by Professor Craig Young (Human Geography, MMU) who linked it to the concerns of the seminar series, and was followed by an update on the situation and discussion of the issues raised with Dr Jon Shute (Law, University of Manchester).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Research Seminar 1: Theological and professional views of the corpse before burial 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The first Research Seminar in the series was organised by Prof. Douglas Davies at the University of Durham, Centre for Death and Life Studies, 18-12-14. The speakers were a mixture of academics and industry professionals (see below) and the audience was a mixture of academics, postgraduate students, theologians and industry professionals.

The speakers were: Bobby Hopkin-Hoggarth of Co-operative Funeral Care and member of the British Institute of Embalmers ("Care for families and loved ones"); Claudia Venhorst, Dept. of Comparative Religion, Radbout University, Holland ("The ritual cleansing of the deceased: how Muslims ritualise death in a migration context"); and Jenny Uzzell, Dept. Theology and Religious Studies, Durham University and owner of a Funeral Directors offering more 'bespoke' and non-traditional funerals ("An Accidental Vocation").

Each paper and the event as a whole featured audience debate reflecting on the implications for how the corpse and the process of bodily disposal is viewed in these different contexts and how the corpse is encountered differently in each case.

The presentations and discussion led to a number of cross-cutting research outcomes and identification of key social and professional trends, notably: different attitudes towards and therefore approaches to dealing with the dead eg. in embalming or Muslim funerals; the gendering of the work (and professionalisation) of dealing with the dead body - who performs the (emotional) labour, how is that gendered, how does that intersect with eg. faith, what do people expect from professional situations (eg. male funerary professionals?), who makes decisions e.g.. within families; is there anything fixed or specific about the dead body - is it endlessly mutable according to context (eg. Islamic death rites but localised Muslim death ritual) especially the diasporic context? Lack of knowledge for local funeral industry about needs; the changing professionalisation of the death industry - who performs death work, who is expected to do so (gendered again), professionals without professional qualifications - need for licensing and regulation?; social trends and social class in bodily disposal.

The seminar lead to enagegment and potential further impact as it resulted in an enhanced relationship with Co-operative Funeral Care national and regional managers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Research Seminar 2: Meeting burial need in a multi-faith, multi-cultural society 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The second Research Seminar in the series was organised by Dr Julie Rugg at the University of York, Cemetery Research Group, 20-03-15. The speakers were a mixture of academics and industry professionals (see below) and the audience was a mixture of academics, postgraduate students, theologians and industry professionals.

The speakers were: Colin Joseph, Sexton, Jewish Joint Burial Society, London, The ownership and management of Jewish burial grounds, and the theological beliefs underpinning Jewish funerary practice; Namakau Maambo, Project Leader, African Community Council for the Regions, Repatriation of bodies to Africa; Mohamed Omer, Board Member - External Affairs, Gardens of Peace Muslim Cemetery, London, The operational principles of the Gardens of Peace Muslim cemetery; Julie Dunk, Executive Officer, UK Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management, The legal framework for meeting diversity in burial need.

Each paper and the event as a whole featured audience debate reflecting on the different faith needs for the burial and treatment of the dead body of different ethnic/racial/faith groups in the UK.

The presentations and discussion led to a number of cross-cutting research outcomes and identification of key social and professional trends, notably: the intersection and sometimes contestation of gender and faith beliefs in bodily disposal practices and rituals; regulation - UK local authorities bound by UK legislation, but the needs of different faith groups raise issues within UK regulatory contexts, whether this is because of different burial requirements, issues around repatriating bodies internationally (eg. African community), or an increasing shortage of burial space (grave use forbidden in Islamic practice unless body has decomposed completely); industry implications - differing demands for cremation, implications for insurance markets and transportation industry eg. for repatriation of bodies; difference between religious requirements and cultural practices, especially among diasporic communities; different view of the corpse before burial; where is the ideal place for burial.

A Ministry of Justice official was also invited and attended underlining the importance of the seminar as an essential networking event, which was successful in bringing together a broad range of stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Research Seminar 3: Encountering the Corpse - issues in academic and professional archaeology 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The third Research Seminar in the series was organised by Dr Ducan Sayer at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, 17-06-15. The speakers were a mixture of academics, industry professionals and undergraduate and postgraduate students (see below) and the audience was a mixture of academics, postgraduate students, theologians and industry professionals.

The speakers were: Dr Duncan Sayer (Archeology, UCLAN) Archaeology and excavating the dead; Quentin Carroll (Cambridgeshire County Council) Planning and archaeology: a perspective; Louise Loe (Oxford Archaeology, private sector) The osteoarchaeologist, excavation and analysis; Dr Bryan Sitch (Manchester Museum) The dead on display: a museum perspective; Allison Card (Forensic Science/Archaeology, UCLAN) Forensic science and archaeology.

The archaeology seminar combined a series of different perspectives focusing on the recovery, curation, storage and display of the ancient corpse in a modern cultural context. These perspectives included town and countryside planning concerns, museums, commercial archaeologists and research interests as well as the implications of legal, ethical and scientific agendas. The topics raised in discussion included the presentation of ancient bodies to the public, commercial encounters with the corpse, research interests in measuring, accessing and sampling skeletal remains and learning environments in which ancient bodies are encountered in laboratories or in the field. Our last two speakers were undergraduate and postgraduate research students who were asked to give short presentations about their own personal encounters with human remains. Lively discussion was had which cut across these professional divides and this session in particular benefited from the interdisciplinary dialogue created by the ESRC network partners.

Key implications from the event included a broadening awareness of the heritage encounter for which there is limited knowledge more generally outside of the sector. The debate contributed an understanding about the breadth and depth of the archaeological encounter with the corpse and its implication for contemporary culture. The planning, curatorial and commercial archelogy sectors are under considerable stress at the moment because of governmental cuts, and a loss of confidence within museums so this session has become part of a wider subject discussion concerning the future of ancient corpses and their social and scientific importance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Research Seminar 4: Encountering the Corpse - the dead body and technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The 4th ESRC Seminar met at the University of Bath on May 27, 2016 and was hosted by the Centre for Death and Society.

The key invited speakers were:

Lisa Graves, Bristol City Museum Curator, discussing the Museum's 2015-2016 exhibition death: the human experience a Case Study of Putting Human Remains on Display.
Professor Richard Huxtable, Director Centre for Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol presenting From Twilight to Breaking Dawn? Best Interests, Autonomy and Minimally Conscious Patients.
Dr. Phil Olson, Virginia Tech University, USA, presenting A Corpse Divided: Undertaking Products, Refuse, and Resources.
Andreia de Sousa Martins, Ph.D. Student in the Centre for Death and Society and the University of Bath presenting Broadcasting Dead Bodies in Brazil.

The day's seminar focussed on how 'technology' is broadly defined when applied to the human corpse. The different speaks discussed ethics, the law, morality, and the future of dead body disposal technology. We had one international speaker, Dr. Phil Olson, from Virginia Tech University and one Postgraduate presenter, Andreia de Sousa Martins. Ph.D. students also helped organise and run the event. It was a sold-out seminar and 50 people attended.

The key outcomes for the seminar:

* Connecting Dr. Phil Olson with more research occurring in the UK for further research development between the UK and the US.
* Bringing the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at Bristol and the Centre for Death and Society together for further collaborative opportunities.
* A post-seminar networking event in the City of Bath for the day's attendees.

Public Engagement:

* Bringing the Bristol Museum team to the seminar to discuss the exhibition and research possibilities working with audience reactions to the exhibition.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Research Seminar 5: Dead body politics, materialities and mobilities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The 5th seminar in the series was held on 18th March 2016 at Manchester Metropolitan University on the theme of 'Dead body politics, materialities and mobilities'. It was organised by Professor Craig Young (School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University) and Dr Jon Shute (School of Law, University of Manchester).

The speakers were:
Dr Jon Shute (Law, U. of Manchester) Journeys in Space and Time: Human Remains and the Srebrenica Massacres.
Dr Jean-Marc Dreyfus (History, U. of Manchester) Forgotten exhumations: the French mission in search of corpses from deportees in Germany, 1946-58.
Dr John Harries (School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh) Repatriating Beothuk skulls and the affective politics of indigeneity.
Dr Gemma Angel (Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London) Mortal Remains: Confronting the Dead in the Medical Museum.
Dave Griffiths (Manchester School of Art, MMU), Michael Branthwaite (School of Art and Design, Staffordshire University) and Dr Caroline Sturdy Colls (Archaeology, Staffs.) Finding Treblinka: artistic responses to forensic evidence.

The seminar focused on the materialities and mobilities of human remains and how they underpinned complex processes of geopolitics, memory, affect and emotion. In each case the 'rediscovering' of parts of human bodies (cremation ash, skulls) and associated objects was associated with a complex geopolitics of (national) identity, post-conflict and post-colonial struggles for recognition and justice, or a national claim on bodily remains which required to be repatriated and claimed by different political communities, at the national or sub-national scales. Attention was also paid to the politics of representation and how artists could become involved in the display of human and other remains some sites of trauma, such as concentration camps. The seminar was also highly inter-disciplinary, integrating artists, lawyers, historians, social anthropologists, archaeologists, human geographers and death studies. There was considerable audience discussion on the political significance and power of human remains in different contexts and about the surprisingly mobility of human remains.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Research Seminar 6: Packaging up Death and the Dead for the Contemporary Visitor Economy: A Dark Tourism and Heritage Perspective 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The 6th seminar in the series was held within the former 'A wing' of HM Lancaster Prison at Lancaster Castle on 19 October 2016. It was organised by Dr Phil Stone, Institute of Dark Tourism Research, University of Central Lancashire.

Invited speakers were from the UK and USA including:
Professor Mary Margaret Kerr (University of Pittsburgh) - Overlooked Encounters with Death: Child Tourists at Dark Sites.
Dr Philip Stone (University of Central Lancashire) - 'A Commodification of Death' - Dark Tourism & Difficult Heritage.
Professor Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire) - Lancaster's Slave Heritage and the work of Guerrilla Memorialisation.
Dr Paul Fallon (Sheffield Hallam University) - Co-creating Dark Tourism Experiences: A 'Heroes' Return Case.
Dr Sarah Hodgkinson (University of Leicester) - Haunting (Hi)stories of the English Gaol: Re-Imagining our Carceral Past.
Dr Daniel Wright (University of Central Lancashire) - 'Hunting Humans?' A Future for Tourism in the Year 2200.

The aim of the symposium was to critically explore fundamental interrelationships of touristic travel to sites of death or disaster with the cultural condition of society. Particularly, the symposium critically explored how death and the dead are 'packaged up' or commodified for the contemporary global visitor economy, and the implications and consequences thereof.

The symposium closed with a lively audience Q&A session chaired by Professor Richard Sharpley (University of Central Lancashire). 67 delegates attended the event and originated from across the UK, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Spain, and Poland. Delegates were a mixture of academics, local government officials, museum practitioners, and postgraduate students. Each presentation examined a specific aspect of what has been broadly referred to as 'dark tourism'. Stone opened the symposium by giving a broad review of dark tourism and 'difficult heritage'. He outlined major issues around consuming mortality within contemporary memorialisation of the significant Other dead. Kerr offered insights into children experiences of visiting 9/11 memorials and how the young perceive both death and atrocity, as well as associated politics. Rice examined slavery heritage within the Lancasterian landscape, and how memorials to the enslaved dead are both linked to intellectual activism and to the broader visitor economy. Fallon explored how the military dead are encountered through battlefield tourism and, in particular, how familial pilgrimages are performed within tourism. Hodgkinson outlined how former prisons as visitor attractions trade on the supernatural as well offering a window for the penal gaze. Finally, Wright offered a provocative futureology approach and outlined how the (human) dead may become visitor attractions of tomorrow. Overall, the event brought major themes of how (significant) death and the dead are retailed and remembered through the tourist gaze.

The event created local media coverage including in the regional press and local BBC radio.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.uclan.ac.uk/news/former-prison-is-fitting-setting-to-explore-death.php
 
Description Research Seminar 7: Dreams and Death Worlds, Durham University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Research Seminar no. 7 on the theme of 'Dreams and Death Worlds' was organised by Prof. Douglas Davies at the Department of Theology & Religion and Centre for Death-Life Studies, Durham University on 7th April 2017. The research seminar considered the various ways in which the dead and the dead body are encountered in dream worlds in different contexts. A highlight was Prof. Edgar's presentation on the Islamic tradition of dream interpretation and how this linked to contemporary martyrdom. The programme included presentations on" Dreaming of Death in Antiquity - George Gazis, Department of Classics, Durham University; Encountering the Corpse of St Cuthbert - Seven moments across two millennia - David Williams (author of St Cuthbert's Corpse - A Life After Death (under the penname David Willem)); Dream visions of the dead in modern poetry, especially Irish poetry during the political troubles - Stephen Regan, Department of English, Durham University; Dreams, Death and Martyrs in Islam - Iain Edgar, Department of Anthropology, Durham University; Joseph Smith's visions of the dead and Mormonism's Baptism for the dead - Douglas Davies, Department of Theology & Religion and Centre for Death-Life Studies, Durham University; Open forum, questions and discussion. A visit was also made to the tomb of St. Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral hosted by the Revd Dr. Canon Rosalind Brown. The event attracted an audience of academics, PhD students and death industry practitioners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Research Seminar 8: Medical Encounters with the Corpse: Managing Social Identities and Emotional Labour, Hull York Medical School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Julie Seymour and Dr Trish Green hosted Research seminar no. 8 in the series at Hull York Medical School on 9th November 2017. The one day event entitled 'Medical Encounters with the Corpse: Managing Social Identities and Emotional Labour' brought together scholars from across the country in a multi-disciplinary research seminar hosted by Hull York Medical School. Speakers, including early career researchers, doctoral and Masters students, presented research from a range of medical contexts in which the dead body is encountered. This covered body donation for medical research (Dr Peter Bazira, doctoral student Zivarna Murphy and Masters students Daniel Whiting and Howard French), visual technologies in foetal and neonatal autopsy (Dr Kate Reed, Dr Julie Ellis and Dr Elspeth Whitby), and the end of life planning and post death memorialisation of transgender people (Dr Louis Bailey and Prof. Margaret Holloway). There was also a talk about memorialisation in natural burial sites (Dr Andrew Clayden). The well attended seminar brought together academics, early career researchers and postgraduate students from varied disciplines and professions including applied health researchers, sociologists, landscape architects, death and family studies researchers, and anatomy unit staff. The seminar was followed by a City of Culture public event, 'Re-encountering those we have lost,' providing an evening of poetry by Costa Award winning poet Christopher Reid and performance art by Zoë Uí Fhaoláin focusing on loss, memory and memorialisation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.hyms.ac.uk/about/news/2017/hull-york-medical-school-hosts-a-day-of-multidisciplinary-enco...
 
Description Research Seminar 9: Encountering Corpses concluding conference and Encountering Corpses III event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The research seminar series was concluded by the 9th event which comprised of a two-day conference which was Research Seminar Series no. 9 and was also branded as 'Encountering Corpses III' to continue the series of Encountering Corpses held at Manchester Metropolitan University (previous events were 2014 and 2016). The conference featured three keynote speakers: Prof. Catherine Nash, School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London; Dr Ruth Penfold-Mounce, Department of Sociology, University of York; Ass. Prof. Margaret M. Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, USA. Two sessions featured presentations by 8 current and recent PhD students. Each of the 8 research seminar series partners also gave presentations summarising their conceptualisations of the dead body developed during the seminar series. The event engaged members of the general public, academics, postgraduate and undergraduate students and practitioners. Debates and discussions around the various presentations developed conceptualisations of the dead body. There was also a separate public engagement event comprised of a poetry reading by Prof. Michael Simmons Roberts who read from his series 'Food for risen bodies' from the collection 'Corpus' (2004). A further public engagement element was the development of artistic interventions in the nearby Grosvenor or All Saints Park curated by Helen Darby, Research Impact Manager for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, MMU. This was the site of a former church and is still consecrated ground. Research undertaken for the event revealed that over 16,000 bodies remain on the site. Artist Debbie Sharp created a soundscape that was listened to during a visit to the park. Helen Darby also convened an art installation in the park in memory of the bodies still buried there. Historian and PhD student Michaela Hulme who researched the site, Dr Ian Drew who undertook radar scanning of the sub-surface, and Debbie Sharp and Helen Darby presented on the development of their activities and reflected on their experience of this encounter with the dead in the park. The installation lasted for 2 weeks after the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://encounteringcorpses.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/encountering-corpses-iii-conference-brochure...