As part of the international academic conference 'Death Dying and Disposal 15', which will take 'Diversity and Decolonisation' as its theme, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Association for the Study of Death and Society are proud to present an accompanying free public programme of online events from Wednesday 1st until Saturday 4th September.

Working with our partners LGBT Foundation, Sick! Festival, Manchester Writing School and the ASDS journal Mortality, we have curated six evening (BST) events that can be accessed by registering for a free place on the conference website:

See below for the full programme of events. Free registration gives you access to all six events, but you may attend for as many as you wish.

Conference bannerArtwork © James McCrea

Wednesday 1st September 2021

18:00 - 19:30 BST

Respecting Trans and Gender Diverse People Around Death and Bereavement – LGBT Foundation in conversation with Ash Hayhurst

Organised by the LGBT Foundation

Speakers: Zane Robinson and Ash Hayhurst

Join LGBT Foundation for an evening with Ash Hayhurst, consultant for a new death and bereavement project led by UK-wide trans and gender diverse charity GIRES. This event will be chaired by Zane Robinson (Trans Programme Coordinator and Community Programme Manager at LGBT Foundation) and will include an audience Q&A.

GIRES is a UK wide organisation whose purpose is to improve the lives of trans and gender diverse people of all ages, including those who are non-binary and non-gender, through training, support, information and research.

LGBT Foundation is a national charity delivering advice, support and information services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities. With a history dating back to 1975, they campaign for a fair and equal society where all LGBT people can achieve their full potential. Through their services they reduce isolation amongst LGBT communities, help people feel more confident and in control of their lives and enable people to flourish. Together with LGBT communities and their supporters, LGBT Foundation are working to secure a safe, healthy and equal future for all LGBT people.

Wednesday 1st September 2021

20:00 - 21:00 BST

Mortality Panel: Inequality, Death and Dying

Organised by Mortality Journal and Taylor and Francis

Hosted by Erica Borgstrom (Mortality and The Open University)

Speakers: Frank Eyetsemitan (Roger Williams University), George Gumisiriza (University of Bath), Sara Knox (Western Sydney University) and Jillian A. Tullis (University of San Diego)

This panel, hosted by the journal Mortality, is an opportunity to learn more about existing death studies work in the areas of inequality and diversity, how such work helps improve public understandings of these issues, and what lessons we can learn from these areas of inquiry.

Mortality publishes interdisciplinary research about death and dying, grief, bereavement, and memorialization. Find out more about Mortality here.

Tania El Khoury
Lebanese artist Tania El Khoury will discuss ritual and commemoration on Friday 3rd September. Photograph © Jeanette Nevarez

Thursday 2nd September 2021

18:30 - 20:00 BST

Séancers: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko and Kami Fletcher

Organised by Sick! Festival

Speakers: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko and Kami Fletcher

“What does it mean to defend the dead? To tend to the Black dead and dying: to tend to the Black person, to Black people, always living in the push toward our death?” – Christina Sharpe.

In this session Nigerian-American poet and performance artist Jaamil Olawale Kosoko explores the personal and the political in Black experiences of death, with Dr. Kami Fletcher.

This event is a pre-recorded screening.

Thursday 2nd September 2021

20:00 - 21:30 BST

Mats Staub’s installation Death & Birth In My Life

Mats Staub and collaborators

Hosted by Sick! Festival

We present three powerful excerpts from Mats Staub's installation Death & Birth In My Life, created in South Africa and in Manchester with staff from the Critical Care Unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

This event is a pre-recorded screening.

Friday 3rd September 2021

19:00 - 20:00

Gardens Speak: Ritual and commemoration

Organised by Sick! Festival

Speaker: Tania El Khoury

Lebanese artist Tania El Khoury discusses ritual and commemoration in her work, including ‘Gardens Speak’, an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of ten ordinary people who were buried in Syrian gardens.

SICK! Festival is a Manchester based, diversity-led arts organisation which shines a light on the complexities of mental and physical health. We give voice to the experiences of diverse and often marginalised communities by presenting an outstanding international arts programme, which encourages participants, audiences and partners to learn from and talk about difficult and challenging issues, so often hidden from public view. Rooted in the local community while operating internationally, we commission powerful and engaging work by international, national and GM based artists, who make their work with, alongside and for local communities with lived experience, health professionals, charities and researchers.

Malika Booker
Manchester Met Poet Malika Booker will be reading her work on Saturday 4th September

Saturday 4th September 2021

18:00 - 19:30

“Grief song is a different story”: Exploring ‘Nine Nights’ with Malika Booker and Francis Spufford.

Organised by the Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester Poetry Library

Hosted by Martin Kratz (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Join Malika Booker for a special close reading of her poem ‘Nine Nights’, a reimagining of the story of Lazarus.

After reading the poem, Malika will be in conversation with Francis Spufford, followed by an audience Q&A.

Malika Booker is a poetry lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, a British poet of Guyanese and Grenadian Parentage and the founder of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen. Her pamphlet ‘Breadfruit’ (flippedeye, 2007), received a Poetry Society recommendation and her poetry collection Pepper Seed (Peepal Tree Press, 2013) was shortlisted for the OCM Bocas prize and the Seamus Heaney Centre 2014 prize for first full collection. She is published with the poets Sharon Olds and Warsan Shire in The Penguin Modern Poet Series 3:Your Family: Your Body (2017) and her poem ‘Nine Nights’, first published in The Poetry Review in autumn 2016, was shortlisted for Best Single Poem in the 2017 Forward Prize.

Francis Spufford is the author of the novels Golden Hill and Light Perpetual, and teaches writing at Goldsmiths College, University of London.