About this project
Applications are invited for undertaking research for a PhD research project entitled ‘Memorialising Pandemics’. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to learn from historical disease pandemics, this project will analyse lessons learned about communal memorialising of remote death to inform regional and national responses to COVID-19.
The lead PhD project supervisor will be Dr Nicholas Evans, senior lecturer in diaspora history at the University of Hull.
In the project the successful applicant will address the following research questions:
- How have organisations handling diseased cadavers ensured achievement of a ‘good death’ during past pandemics?
- When impossible to ensure a 'good death', how did societies provide fitting committal and enable remote mourning?
- How have those who perished in past mass tragedies been remembered?
- How are COVID-19 deaths being memorialised by makeshift death markers?
It is anticipated that a range of research methods will be used so that drawing upon digitised newspapers, cemetery and public health records (including British Library Newspapers; Wellcome Library, local archives) and using GIS mapping the project will explore the spatial aspects of remote death during previous pandemics to identify (i) UK responses to past pandemics (1832 - 1960), (ii) consider how societies provided a fitting committal, (iii) how those who perished were remembered short, medium and longer term.
As this is an interdisciplinary project, the successful candidate will be a member of both the Department of History and the Department of Geography, Geology and Environment at the University of Hull.
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Nicholas Evans.
About the 'Living with Death – Learning from COVID’ research cluster
Since spring 2020 the UK has experienced unprecedented waves of premature deaths with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dying has been taking place under circumstances far from ‘normal’. Modes of remembrance associated with a ‘good death’ have been impeded by public health measures. More than 17 months of infection control restrictions and limited funeral arrangements are associated with many emergent – but largely un-researched – socio-economic consequences including for mental health and well-being (e.g. complicated grief, post-traumatic stress) for health, social care and death professionals, bereaved relatives, friends and co-workers.
This multi-disciplinary research cluster programme with five PhD projects will investigate, identify, understand and suggest mitigations for the unintended medium-longer term consequences of socially distanced death. In collaborating across social sciences, health and humanities the cluster will engage with and evaluate approaches (e.g. funeral practices, story telling) to alleviating the intense suffering, grief and bereavement of COVID-19.
The ‘Living with Death – Learning from COVID’ research cluster is led by PI Dr Elsbeth Robson, Reader in Human Geography.
Join us at a webinar on Monday 13 December at 6pm to find out more about this PhD cluster. Register here.
Other PhDs in this cluster
Place, Death and Inequalities
Dealing with Socially Distanced Death on the Frontline
Digital Dimensions of COVID-19 Death Across Communities
Language in Corona Times