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.
Z.G. Burnett is a writer and researcher with a background in early American history and material culture, and a Master’s degree in Art History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has contributed to multiple digital publications including Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Beyond the Gates; a Cemetery Explorer’s Guide, a blog examining the less traveled graveyards of New England. Z.G. is also a Senior Copywriter for The Vintage Woman Magazine, and is currently writing her first book on classic style and the occult.
Marlene Melisa Davila
Marlene Davila was born in the Mexican state of Guanajuato in 1998. She grew up in England and lived, for some time, in Belgium where she learned to speak French. Eventually, she would return to Mexico, complete high school but her cancer diagnosis would derail her from obtaining her Bachelor’s in Literature.
Marlene began her research and interest in death studies and cultural perspectives on death when she fell ill with a rare type of cancer. Her diagnosis changed her perspective on life and death and so she began her research and interest in death studies and cultural perspectives on death. Most notably, she has directed a praised local documentary titled: Post Mortem (2018).
Today, after being in remission for some years, she’s earned her bachelor’s degree in Communications, has lived in France and works as a Communications Specialist in a German Enterprise.
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.
Kalisto Nanen (he.ze.they) is a journalist, cultural anthropologist, death guide and a student in funeral service education and mortuary sciences. Kalisto’s research focuses around Cemetery Recognizance Surveys of the Northwest and Southern Black American Funeral Traditions and Customs. He received his BA in Cultural Anthropology and Broadcast Journalism from the University of Montana and is currently working on combining legacy writing and horticulture into providing memorials and landscapes for the current generation of dead and dying.
Joeeta Pal Joeeta Pal is a researcher of death practices with a PhD on the The Body in Death in Early Buddhism from the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her MPhil dissertation argued for multivalent death practices at sites of the Indus Valley Civilization through an analysis of skeletal remains in burials at Kalibangan and Lothal. She has been a fellow of the Trans Regional Academy of the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Foundation on “India and the World: New Arcs of Knowledge”. She has both academic publications as well as for a more popular audience. Her outreach activities include a specially curated walk around the Harappa Gallery of the National Museum, New Delhi, where she discusses death and issues of representation.
Dineo Skosana is a researcher and project leader at Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her current research focus is on post-apartheid dispossession in coal mining-affected communities. Dineo holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of the Witwatersrand.
Her doctorate research explored the contestations over coal mining and African grave exhumations and relocations in Tweefontein, Mpumalanga Province (South Africa). Dineo previously worked and published extensively on the continued salience of traditional leadership in post-apartheid South Africa.
She has an interest in a) indigenous politics particularly, in rural parts of the country; and b) the institution of traditional authority, as well as politics over land, sacred sites, heritage and belonging.
Bethany Tabor is an Art Historian who explores themes of death and dying in visual and performance art. She is most interested in the use of human remains in art and how the practice shifts between eras of human history. Tabor holds a Master’s degree in Performance Studies from New York University where she examined performance and its afterlives.
Tamara Waraschinski, PhD
Dr. Tamara 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.
Alexandra Weiss is a writer and clinical research assistant from Los Angeles. They received an MA in interdisciplinary humanities from UChicago, and hope to pursue a PhD researching BIPOC literature on health and sickness as a way to reconsider the ways in which ethnicity and race, care and medicine intersect in a systemically racist America. They have a particular interest in the necropolitics of genetic diseases, as someone with a BRCA mutation. Alexandra edits for Another Chicago Magazine, and has poetry in Coffin Bell, Cathexis Northwest Press, and elsewhere.