Sandra Baker a resident of Baltimore, Maryland where she majors in mortuary science at the Community College of Baltimore County. She works full time as a funeral apprentice and crematory operator where she has the opportunity to assist many people from numerous ethnic cultures and social background. Being able to provide support to others during trying times bestows Sandi with a sense of fulfillment and she feels great honor in caring for the dead.
Justin H. Cook
Justin H. Cook is currently a PhD Candidate in Rhetoric at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. There, he studies the application of Donna Haraway’s material-semiotic systems (or knots) as relevant to the dead body. His previous publications have centered around digital mourning practices as agency manipulation for the corpse and queer death as a multimodal system of rhetorical action. His dissertation asks the field of Rhetoric to consider the dead body as an agential actor capable of producing its own rhetorical action without the confines of semiotic coding. He seeks to understand the corpse as not only an independent rhetorical actor but also as an effective communicator from beyond the grave.
Dr. Kami Fletcher
Dr. Fletcher is an Associate Professor of American & African American History at Albright College. Her newest course entitled “African American Deathways and Deathwork” examines African American norms and ideas surrounding death as well as encourages students to see how death intersects with race, class, gender, religion, region. She is the author of “Real Business: Maryland’s First Black Cemetery Journey’s into the Enterprise of Death, 1807-1920”. She is also the co-author of the forthcoming volume Till Death Do Us Part: American Ethnic Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed (University Press of Mississippi, March 2020). Currently, Dr. Fletcher is working on two manuscripts: The first, co-authored is First 100 Years of Black Undertaking in Baltimore. The second is a co-edited volume, Southern Cemeteries, Imprints of Southern Culture.
Dr Danielle Griego
Dr. Danielle Griego has a PhD in History from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is interested in reports of child death found in coroners’ rolls, miracle stories, chronicles, and medieval lyrics from the Middle Ages. Griego’s interest in the topic of medieval death began during her undergraduate career at the University of New Mexico, where she received a BA in Anthropology/Archaeology and minor in Medieval Studies. While at the University of New Mexico, she analyzed Anglo-Saxon burial reports and accounts of death and burial in Anglo-Saxon prose and poetry. After completing her undergraduate degree, she went on to receive an MPhil in Medieval History at the University of Cambridge. Her thesis analyzed outcast burials, those buried prone, with stones, or on the outskirts of cemeteries and towns, in early medieval England.
Robyn Lacy is a historical archaeologist whose research focuses on burial landscapes in the 17th century, winter burial practices, and protective magic in mortuary contexts. She received her MA in Archaeology from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2017 and has gone on to study historic standing buildings and gravestone conservation, while continuing her research on burial ground organization and landscapes. Her first book, Burial and Death in Colonial North America,is forthcoming from Emerald Publishing. She writes regularly at spadeandthegrave.com.
Katie Orwig hails from Monongah, WV. She got her Bachelor’s degree in Visual/Studio Art from Bethany College, WV, in 2009 and then, like so many Appalachians before her, she migrated to Detroit. She spent the next 6 years in the professional Theatre scene as a Scenic Designer, Technical Director, and Carpenter for the largest and smallest of theaters in the Detroit & Metro area. Since 2015, she has dedicated her life to death and dying reform, both domestic and abroad. She was trained as an End of Life Doula with INELDA in 2016, she advocates for Medical Aid in Dying in the USA, and she fosters senior dogs through their end of life.
Dr. Tamara Waraschinski
Dr. Waraschinski grew up in Germany and then moved to Australia, where she received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Adelaide in 2018. She now live close to Portland, Oregon. Dr. Waraschinski’s work experience in aged care, as palliative care volunteer, as well as her personal background, has informed her life-long curiosity of how we construct this social world of ours. She became a social theorist and death scholar, particularly interested in how capitalism corrodes our ability to accept that we are mortal beings. Trying to do her part in finding ways that amend the painful consequences of our grief and death illiteracy, Dr. Waraschinski now works in the non-profit sector. However, scholarly work and education around issues of death, dying and grief remain an integral part of her.
Kaylee P. Alexander
Kaylee P. Alexander is a PhD Candidate in the Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University, specializing in nineteenth-century visual culture. Kaylee’s research interests include funerary monuments, print media, and the cultural economics of burial in France and the United States. Approaching issues of survival bias, ephemerality, and erasure in the cemetery, she employs data-driven and digital methodologies to study vernacular memorial practices, particularly in instances where little material evidence survived into the present day. Her dissertation, “In Perpetuity: Funerary Monuments, Consumerism and Social Reform in Paris (1804–1924),” investigates the emergence of a popular market for funerary monuments in France.