San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Death: “The act of dying; the end of life or the state of being dead."
Salon: “A periodic gathering of people of social or intellectual distinction”
In the spirit of the eighteenth-century ‘salon’ (informal coffeehouse gatherings of intellectuals) Death Salon encourages conversations on mortality and mourning, death and dying, and their resonating effects on our culture and history. The inaugural conference occurred in Los Angeles in 2013 and the website set up by its creators Megan Rosenbloom and Caitlin Doughty can be viewed here
This UK conference specifically, held at Barts Pathology Museum, endeavours to engage various demographics (the public, medical students, historians etc) with aspects of death from a scholarly, medical-humanities perspective. The venue itself, which has grown into a shining example of public engagement, dictates the topics of this three day conference. Within the walls of Barts Pathology Museum, history meets medicine, epidemiology meets art, and public health meets literature, meaning that death can be discussed from many angles, not just biomedical science alone. In fact, Death Salon is bringing the work of academics and death professionals to the public in an approachable but intellectual way while also encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration towards the goal of death acceptance and cultural understanding.
This three-day event will be split into three loose themes, ante-mortem, peri-mortem and post-mortem and each day will run from approximately 9am (for registration) to 5:30pm. In this way talks are loosely categorised into preparation for death, occurrences around the time of death and events which manifest long after death. Those who purchase three-day tickets will be invited to attend a special 'opening night' evening event on Wed April 9th
Day 1) Ante-Mortem (10/04/14) speakers include:
Dr Nathan Hefflick, School of Psychology (University of Kent) How death salience can have positive psychological effects when it motivates heightened engagement in life.
Rosie Inman-Cook, The Natural Death Centre: "Lifting the Lid on Dying and Funerals"
Josefine Speyer (UKCP Reg Psychotherapist in private practice, and bereavement specialist) Co-Founder of The Natural Death centre and facilitator of The Death Cafe. "Facilitating Conversations about Death"
Simon Ferrar, Clandon Wood Natural Burial Site
Sarah Troop (US), Nourishing Death discusses the growing western interest in her culture's Dia de los Muertos
Vadim Kosmos, The Last Tuesday Society. The Cabaret du Neant (Death Cafe's) in C18th Paris
Dr Eleanor Wilson, University of Nottingham: "Hospital Mortuaries: the blind spot of end of life care."
Rebekah Reeve-Jones and Zoe McLean "Keepsakes of the Dead" Shrine Making
Dr David J Wilkinson, Emeritus Consultant Anaesthetist, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, and President of World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists: “Looking dead may not be the same as being dead”
Keynote Speaker: Megan Rosenbloom (US) "A History of the Fear of Premature Burial"
Day 2) Peri-Mortem (11/04/14) speakers include:
Dr Marianne Hamel, M.D, Ph.D. (US) “Hot Lights, Sharp Steel, Cold Flesh” : How medical examiners determine cause and manner of death in contrast to media portrayals of the practice of forensic pathology.
Dr Sarah Yardley (Keele University)"Are autopsies a missed educational opportunity to learn core palliative care principles?”
Dr Amanda Jeffery (Home Office Reg. Forensic Pathologist) will talk about CT Scanning at Autopsy (or virtual autopsy) and the most recent findings
Kristoffer Hughes, Author and Anatomical Pathology Technician: "Servants of the Reaper: A History of Mortuary Ritual and Practice"
Dr Alan Bates Hon. Senior Lecturer, Dept. Cellular Pathology, Royal Free Hospital "Victorian Anatomy Museums"
Annie Broadbent - "We Need to Talk About Grief" - grief and how people respond to those experiencing it
Kirsty McNally - NHS Blood and Transplant - Organ Donation
John Clarke - "From Here to Eternity: The Necropolis Railway and the Brookwood Cemetery"
Nicolas Wheatley (MSc, Death and Society) and the "Journey's End" Train Set
Dr Cathy Molyneux, QMUL director of Anatomical Studies - A History of the Dissection Room
Keynote Speaker: Dr Lindsey Fitzharris
Day 3) Post-Mortem (12/04/14) speakers include:
Dr John Troyer "The Centre for Death and Society" at the University of Bath will discuss dead body disposal technology, the future of death, and the future of death technology
Dr Anastasia Tsaliki (research area Funerary & Biological Archaeology/Forensic Anthropology) "Who is Afraid of the Undead?: A Discussion of Unusual Burial Practices and Necrophobia"
Katherine Crouch "Disturbing the Death/The Disturbing Dead" PhD research on attitudes towards the excavation, curation and display of archaeological human remains and the role of mortuary archaeology in contemporary british culture"
Prof. Lisa Downing - Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality, and author of "Desiring the Dead: Cinematic representations of the necrophilia/aesthetic corpse trope"
Valentina Lari, artist, "Stillness and Whispers" Victorian post-mortem photography and modern day comparisons as well as difficulties encountered during filming of The Defomirty of Beauty at Mutter Museum
Brian Parsons "Funeral Practices in the UK: 150 Years of Change"
Joshua Graham Comparitive Ethnography of English and Americal Funeral Food Practices
Art Macabre Death Drawing Salon - Founder Nikki Shaill explores the relationship between the nude figure and death in art. there will be a chance to participate in a death-drawing class - all materials provided
Dr. Paul Koudounaris: Bolivian Skull Rituals
Keynote Speaker: Caitlin Doughty (US)
Registration 9:15-9:45, morning break 10:45, lunch 12:30-13:30, afternoon break 15:00
**Refunds for the event unavailable after April 1st**
When & Where
Barts Pathology Museum (3rd Floor Robin Brook Centre)
St Bartholomews Hospital (Enter from main courtyard)
EC1A 7BE London
Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 09:30 - Saturday, 12 April 2014 at 17:30 (BST)
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Barts Pathology Museum (Queen Mary)
Full list is on the BARTS WEBSITE
**Please bring ID to receive alcohol at events**
Refunds/exchanges for evening events may be offered at the discretion of Barts Pathology Museum only if requested 48 hours before ticket sales end. (This doesn't include cancelled events which are automatically refunded.) For Taxidermy and other weekend workshops it is ONE WEEK before.
Prior to the appointment of Carla Valentine as the current Technical Curator, the museum was in a state of disarray. As medical teaching changed, the need for the study of anatomy and pathology pots declined. Without funding the pots and the infrastructure of the building suffered and it wasn't until a couple of years ago that a donation was secured to renovate the collection. New ways to ensure the survival of the collection were also trialled, including conferences and events.
Barts Pathology Museum, a part of Queen Mary University of London, is a medical-humanities hub and venue for public engagement and education. Our events showcase research and the arts from our own institution as well as other universities, independant researchers and other museums. Our activities are in accordance with Human Tissue Authority recommendtions on Public Display of medical collections and the University Museums Group guidance, and are sensitive to the dignity of the collection.
As it is part of Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, the museum is based within St Bartholomews which is a teaching hospital. Therefore, follow the signs for the Robin Brook Centre and go through the open entrance indicated below. You'll find the museum on the 3rd floor: