In Haunt

Talking about death matters – it is an inevitability of life. Yet so often it is something we postpone discussing, or only do so when we are faced directly with it.

But making interacting with this difficult subject much more straightforward, is a whole network of professionals, practitioners, academics and individuals – many of whom will be speaking at the 15th International Conference on the Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal, held at Manchester Metropolitan University on the 1st – 4th September 2021.

Photo by Who’s Denio on Unsplash

This marks the first time a conference of this kind has been held in Manchester, and is hosted on behalf of the Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS). 2021’s edition will adopt the theme of ‘Diversity and Decolonisation’, a timely approach engaging with how death and dying are treated across different cultures and backgrounds, and the importance of improved inclusivity.

The Convenor of the conference is Professor Craig Young (Professor of Human Geography at Manchester Metropolitan University), assisted by Helen Darby (Research Impact and Public Engagement Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University). Craig and Helen have worked extensively on the regular Encountering Corpses series of events that Manchester Metropolitan University has hosted in the city - considering how the physicality of death is faced in society, as covered by Haunt here

From the language used around death and dying, to the practice of funerals and burials, a wide selection of topics will be of consideration. In turn, this conference will be of interest to people from a range of backgrounds; from the simply curious to academics, as well as those working in and/or studying areas such as Cultural Geography, Sociology, Medicine, Architecture and the Arts.

The conference will feature speakers from more than 30 countries, exploring death and dying in the 21st century – one of the most pressing issues of our times. Presentations, exhibitions, creative responses and even walking tours, are also in the planning.

The Manchester region has shown a growing range of services and events considering how we deal with dying, death and related topics, in recent years. For example, Haunt has reported on the biennial SICK! Festival which is based in the city, a Rainbow Death Café, interviewed the organisation This Fevered Sleep who set up ‘This Grief Thing’ - with previous pop-ups in Manchester, Dying Matters Week, and more. Dr Michala Hulme (Lecturer in Public History at Manchester Metropolitan University) has also explored The History of All Saints Burial Ground and Manchester’s Forgotten Burial Sites. The International Conference on the Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal in the city, marks a further key development.

A call for papers for the conference will follow later in 2020, with the full conference programme release in spring 2021. For further information please email

Image credits 

Photo by Who’s Denio on Unsplash




Nobody has commented on this post yet, why not send us your thoughts and be the first?

Leave a Reply