Academics

The people who think about death.

  • Lindsey Fitzharris

    Lindsey Fitzharris

    Lindsey is a London-based medical historian, with her Phd from the University of Oxford in the History of Science, Medicine & Technology. In 2010, she was granted a postdoctural research fellowship from the Wellcome Trust. Her popular website, The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice, is dedicated to the horrors of pre-anestetic surgery. Lindsey has written for The GuardianThe Lancet, New Scientist, The Huffington Post and Medium.

  • John Troyer

    John Troyer

    John Troyer is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath. His research focuses on contemporary memorialisation practices, concepts of spatial historiography, and the dead body’s relationship with technology. He is a co-founder of the Death Reference Desk website and a frequent commentator for the BBC.

  • Kelly Christian

    Kelly Christian

    Kelly is a Chicago-based researcher, writer, and artist. Her most recent work explores the social history of death in American culture, as well as postmortem and memorial photography. Kelly photographed military funerals in Maine during the height of the Iraq War, and has created her own new media-Daguerreotypes. She has presented her work at conferences and galleries across the country. She is currently a Staff Writer at Dilettante Army, has written for the blog National Museum of Civil War Medicine, as well as other publications.

  • Joanna Ebenstein

    Joanna Ebenstein

    Joanna Ebenstein is a Brooklyn-based artist, curator, writer, designer, and independent scholar. She is the creator of the Morbid Anatomy bloglibrary and event series, and was cofounder (with Tracy Hurley Martin) and creative director of the recently shuttered Morbid Anatomy Museum. She is author of The Anatomical Venus; co-editor (with Colin Dickey) of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology, and is currently working on a book about art and death to be released this October with Thames and Hudson. Ebenstein’s writing and photography have been published and exhibited internationally, and she speaks regularly around the world on topics at the intersections of art and medicine, death and culture. She has also acted as consultant for The Wellcome Collection and The New York Academy of Medicine.

  • Barbara Chung

    Barbara Chung

    Barbara is a practising architect based in Melbourne, Australia. Her final design thesis during her studies was about how the stigma behind death should be reversed and seen as something that is sensorial and sublime by linking olfactory triggers within architecture. Barbara’s project ‘The Anamnesis of Being’  – A Mortuary Bathhouse, was shortlisted by the international Design for Death competition run by Designboom.

  • Nancy Caciola

    Nancy Caciola

    Nancy is a medieval historian and Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego. Her first book, Discerning Spirits: Divine and Demonic Possession in the Middle Ages, concerns saints, demoniacs, and spirit possession in medieval culture. Her most recent book is Afterlives: The Return of the Dead in the Middle Ages, is an examination of medieval beliefs about death, afterlife, and ghosts. Both are available from Cornell University Press.

  • Stephanie Stewart-Bailey

    Stephanie Stewart-Bailey

    Stephanie curates The Body Appropriate in San Francisco, a closet sized gallery that displays art and hosts events showcasing anatomy and death culture. She performs public dissections of birds and mammals, and occasionally takes apart whales when they wash ashore. She also works to recover human tissue, brains and corneas for research and transplant, as well as curates programs for The Exploratorium, a museum dedicated to art, science and human perception.

  • Alex Frankel

    Alex Frankel

    Alex is an associate professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Every day he scours the Internet and delivers pertinent death news to the Order. In addition, he is co-founder of the Order of the Good Death Resource Library, which features literature, art, and reference books from all genres of death.

  • Rachel James

    Rachel James

    Rachel is a writer, editor, and public speaker located in California’s Gold Country. She is a founding partner of Odd Salon, a popular, often sold-out cocktail-hour series of lectures that regularly deliver on the promise that you will “Learn Something Weird.” She contributes regularly to projects such as Atlas Obscura, the definitive guidebook to the world’s most wondrous (and delightfully morbid) places. Rachel also founded Posy-Filled Pockets, best described as a “death positive variety show”.

  • Elizabeth Harper

    Elizabeth Harper

    Elizabeth is a writer and independent scholar focused on folk Catholicism and Catholic death rituals. She’s lectured on the Italian Cult of the Dead as part of the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Catholic Studies lecture series and contributed to Virginia Commonwealth University’s World Religion and Spirituality project. Her essays and photos have been published on Lapham’s Roundtable, Slate, Atlas Obscura, and Killing the Buddha. Her blog, All the Saints You Should Know, has been profiled in Los Angeles Magazine and VICE Italia. She is currently a scholar in residence at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, New York.