Sheffield Death Group

The aim of the Sheffield Death Group is to offer a friendly and informal space for members to meet for discussion, collaboration and to share thinking.

Image of gravestones in a cemetery

We are a group of researchers and practitioners who work in the field of death, dying and bereavement and are local to Sheffield and the surrounding areas. Attendance at our events is open to individuals from different disciplines and at various stages of their careers, who wish to discuss their ideas and share their work with other interested parties. We host several events across the year, accommodating a variety of formats, including presentations, reading groups and workshops.

For more information or to join the group, please contact one of the co-convenors:

Forthcoming Sheffield Death Group events 2019-20

Experiencing Suffering: An Ethnographic Study of Palliative Care Workers 

Natalie Richardson
Tuesday 29th October 2019
4.30pm - 6pm 
Room 109, Elmfield Building

In this workshop I will present on my on-going PhD research, which seeks to explore how palliative care workers experience patient suffering and build relationships with patients. 

To appreciate the working lives of palliative care workers, I entered into a hospice in the North of England for six months to conduct observations and interviews with staff members. The observations were conducted in different spaces of the hospice and adopted a sensory approach to focusing on the day-to-day movements, experiences and interactions of hospice professionals. In this talk, I plan to reflect upon my experience of doing ethnographic research in a hospice setting and explore some of the key findings from the research, which largely demonstrate the relationality of suffering and dying. The workshop will consist of a presentation, followed by a Q&A session with scope for open discussion. 

Register here

Life After Death: Experiences of Sibling Bereavement Over the Lifecourse

Laura Towers
Thursday 13th February 2020
4pm - 5.30pm 
Room 109, Elmfield Building

The sibling relationship is one of the longest and possibly most intimate relationships of a lifetime, capable of informing our sense of self and guiding how we are perceived by others. It therefore follows that the death of a brother or sister can have profound implications for any surviving siblings. Yet despite its potential significance, the sibling bereavement experience is largely under studied in comparison to other familial relations. Consequently, it is important to acquire a far greater understanding of this than currently exists. This thesis therefore prioritises the individual lived experience of sibling bereavement, as articulated by the 36 participants interviewed. These rich narratives will complement the, currently dominant, medicalised understandings of bereavement by recognising the long-term, relational complexities of life following a death. By acknowledging that people are embedded in time and networks of relationships, bereavement is conceptualised as a highly relational experience, rather than a purely individual, psychological process. This thesis therefore positions itself at the intersection of Death, Identity, Family and Personal Life literature, in order to enhance current understandings in each field by merging together these, usually separate, bodies of work, thus offering new insight and ideas.

This workshop presents an overview of findings from my PhD thesis. It will consist of a talk followed by a question and answer session, with scope for discussion.

Register here

In victory and in defeat – reading the landscapes of Luxembourg’s WW2 American and German Military cemeteries.

Andy Clayden - Department of Landscape Architecture 
Tuesday 24th March 2020 **POSTPONED**
4pm - 5.30pm
Seminar Room DB10, Bartolome House

This seminar will explore the landscape design of two military cemeteries that were built by the United States of America and Germany, near to the city of Luxembourg after the Second World War.  Separated by less than two kilometres they each present a unique opportunity to explore how the designers responded to the challenge of how they would memorialise their war dead. In victory, the cemetery presented the American authorities with a unique opportunity to recognise the contribution and sacrifice that had been made in the liberation of Europe and to project its authority as a global power.  In defeat and internationally condemned for the atrocities inflicted by the Nazi regime the German authorities were faced with a very different challenge. What would be an appropriate design response in commemorating their war dead in a country that they had invaded and occupied and how do we read these landscapes today?  

Register here

'"The Four Brothers": Claude Lanzmann’s War Refugee Board Interviews as Communal Testimony‘

Sue Vice 
Tuesday 26th May 2020 **POSTPONED**
4.30pm - 6pm
Room 109, Elmfield Building 

More details will be released closer to the event. 

Register here


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