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 postmortem and funerary photography. Kelly photographed military funerals in Maine during the height of the Iraq War and created her own new media-Daguerreotypes.  She has presented her work at conferences and galleries across the country on postmortem photography, embalming, and “corpse-as-culture.”

  • Joanna Ebenstein

    Joanna Ebenstein

    Joanna is an artist, events producer and independent scholar based in Brooklyn, New York. She runs the Morbid Anatomy blog, dedicated to surveying ‘the interstices of art and medicine, death and culture’, and the Morbid Anatomy Library, which makes available to the public her collection of art, ephemera, books and curiosities committed to showcasing the places where death and beauty intersect.

  • Barbara Chung

    Barbara Chung

    Barbara recently completed her Master of Architecture at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her design thesis speculates that the stigma behind death is sensorial and sublime by linking olfactory triggers with architecture. Barbara’s project was recently shortlisted by the international Design for Death competition.

  • Nancy Caciola

    Nancy Caciola

    Nancy is a medieval historian and Associate 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 current work-in-progress, Afterlives: Imagining Mortality in the Middle Ages, is an examination of medieval beliefs about death and afterlife.

  • 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 assistant 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. Posy-Filled Pockets, her newest project, is best described as a “death positive variety show”. It will launch in January of 2016.

  • 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.