Research Seminar: 'Living with the Dead'

Dr Laura King presents a paper entitled 'Living with the Dead: The Meanings of Graves and Sites of Remembrance Practices in 20th Century Britain.'

This seminar is part of the Health Histories and Medical Humanities Research Group series.

About the talk

How important have the sites of human remains been in remembering the dead? In this talk, King will consider how graves and other sites, such as the places where ashes are scattered, have figured within families' practices of connecting with their dead: in the short-term following a death, and the longer-term, over multiple generations.

King will draw on the particular example of one family's experience of burying their relatives in Leeds General Cemetery, now St George's Field on the University of Leeds campus, and the difficulties they faced when the cemetery was closed in the 1960s. King will argue that choice and control were crucial to families in the use of graves and other sites, and that such places formed sites of memory for not just the individual buried there, but to connect to ideas of family history and heritage.

About the speaker

Dr Laura King is a historian of everyday life and emotional relationships in modern Britain. This talk emerges from a project on remembering the dead, and comes from a book shortly to be published with Oxford University Press, entitled Living with the Dead: Histories, Memories, and the Stories Families Tell. Laura is Associate Professor in the School of History, University of Leeds.


This seminar will take place in room G.01, 10 Cavendish Road (School of English).