The motives of Mors Mortis Museum are to share and provide information about the role museums can or should play in educating the public about death and death practices, evaluating the ethics associated with human remains in museum exhibits and collections, and highlighting the potential of museums as active agents for the death positive movement.
Mors Mortis Museum began as an international collaboration between Drs. Trish Biers and Katie Clary in 2017. In 2019 we launched a social media presence, and we plan to continue to grow our collective with blogs, interviews, meet-ups, and workshops or a conference. One of the main purposes of the group is to foster conversation that will lead to better practice and protocol for how museums and institutions do public engagement with human remains. Additionally, we hope to help create conversation with new narratives about collecting and acquisition along with evaluating how museums are responding to increasing transparency about their collections.
Dr. Trish Biers currently works as the Collections Manager at the Duckworth Laboratory at Cambridge University where she has pioneered and led programs about death and dying, as well as facilitated the repatriation of human remains to descendant communities in the United States, and daily care and cataloguing of human remains.
Dr. Katie Stringer Clary currently teaches Public History and Museum Studies at Coastal Carolina University in the US, and is writing a manuscript about the historical perspectives of human remains in museums.
Both Biers and Clary have experience working in a variety of museums as museum educators and collections managers. Through this new venture we aim to foster conversations among museum professionals, death workers, the death positive movement, and death studies to find creative ways to engage and educate the public about death, dying, and cultural practices.
Please feel free to contact us with questions, comments, pitches for blogs, more information, or just for a chat!
We are compiling a working list of Information and Resources about death, museums, human remains, and more; contact us to add to the list.
News, information, and blogs are available on the Posts page.
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