I have a Masters in Human Osteology & Funerary Archaeology and focused my dissertation on public opinion of human remains in a museum context. I have always had a fascination with death and anatomy from a young age and I blame my mum for that – she’s always wanted to be a funeral director. Even most of my tattoos are death related!
I spend my spare time, outside of my non-death (but science) related job, reading or visiting “dark tourism sites”. I’ve fallen completely in love with the Sheffield General Cemetery – I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. I have no set career path, all I know is that I want to work in the death industry with human remains. It’s incredible what you can learn from remains and the best experience of my life was the Cadaver dissections in my Masters. My aim over the next couple of years is to network like mad, and I’ve started attending conferences and volunteering with Carla Valentine Technical Curator of the Pathology Museum at Queen Mary University London SMD.
Dead Meet is a really useful site, and it’s how I got chatting to Carla. It allows us all to connect over a similar interest, for free! I’m really looking forward to it growing in size and I hope to build up my professional network.
Member of the Month 2): Christian Fox
I’m an artist and museum programs designer who’s most recent work includes visitor education and outreach for Mummies Of The World: The Exhibition. My interest in death started in his city’s old Natural History Museum, which had an extensive taxidermy collection and more skeletons than seems reasonable for a child to be left wandering around.
When I’m not in my museum, I can probably be found in the cafe across the street or in the natural history emporium a town over. I currently live in Salt Lake with a cat and a South African zebra skull named Aleister.
I’m a PhD candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London. My research area is performing heritage, which can be defined as artistic mediation between visitors and heritage sites. My heritage site is Abney Park Cemetery in the north of London. I have been in love with this cemetery ever since I first moved to London eight years ago. Out of my work in the cemetery, I’ve written three audio walks inspired by the space: a meditative walk juxtaposing Victorian and contemporary mourning practices, a performed history and love story of a couple who are buried there, and a ‘Winter Woodland’ walk, guiding the listener through the cemetery to discover the original 170-year old Victorian trees scattered throughout the overgrown spaces between the gravestones. See more on the Abney Rambles website.
In tandem with this artistic work, my academic research that has been inspired by Abney Park encompasses the links between death and eroticism, psychogeography, anachronistic space, mourning heritage, ‘The Good Death’, theatre archaeology, heterotopias, gothic sensibility, liminal spaces, the uncanny, and the Victorian ‘Cult of the Dead’.
I joined Dead Meet about two years ago because I had been attending events at the Pathology Museum; I had heard about the site there and it sounded like fun. I’ve since had conversations with members spanning from sharing lecture events to getting music recommendations. At first I assumed it would be a fairly London/UK-based site; but I’ve been impressed by how wide-ranging the membership is. I’ve given illustrated lectures at two Dead Meet events so far. The events I think are a great way to meet new members – it’s really electric to meet people who are engaged by the same esoteric topics as you.