My thanks go out to Kristin Hussey, Sarah Morton, and everyone involved in the Corpses, Catalogues, and Catalogues conference last week! There were so many wonderful talks, and the full list is available here.
Amber Kiri Aranui spoke on the repatriation of Maori ancestral remains. Ginna Camacho of Equitas presented on the role of bioethics in forensic identifications in mass graves in Colombia. Avril Maddrell shared her maps of grief, Claire Nally analyzed the depiction of gender and Victorian history in popular accounts of the Cross Bones Graveyard, and Craig Young traced the shipment of the bodies of former Communist leaders across Romania.
We heard about the Mütter Museum (including Megan Bayles), families’ exhumation and repatriation of soldiers’ bodies after World War I (Laura Tradii), the Tennessee “Body Farm” where forensic scientists study human decay by leaving bodies to decompose (Erin Grosjean). We heard about plastination as a form of art (Kelly Kubiak Fish), the burial of scientific slides as bodily relics (Bronwyn Parry), and the devlopment of German guidelines on the display of human remains in public spaces (Robert Jütte). I learned what a gibbet is from Emma Battell Lowman (speaking on behalf of Elizabeth Hurren), and there was also a talk called “Skeletons in the Clost” that was about literal skeletons that were found in a literal closet (presented by Ellen W. Lange).
I’ll stop there at the risk of just summarizing the program, but there are so many more, so please check out their site.
I also got about as close as I ever planned to be to a morgue again. Oh, wait….