News

One this page you will find all the latest news about the Remember Me project.

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22 March – 6 April ‘Endlessness’ – Liz Nicol Photographic Exhibition

As one of the major outputs of the Remember Me Project case study Photographic essay: The photograph as vehicle for mourning and remembering.

Somme_021 circle

To take a photograph is to record a momentary observation, to take notice of something, somewhere or someone. To print a photograph is to preserve that moment in material form, as an object; it is to create something we can hold on to, and keep for the future, in perpetuity.

A photograph of a loved one can often be found at the site of a grave, a sometimes disarming visual reminder that this person was once alive and stood in front of a camera looking into the eyes of the photographer. As the viewer we stand together with the photographer, and in some ways we replay their original act of seeing each time we encounter the image.

To remember our loved one, to monumentalise their life, we engrave their name in stone. Those who lost their lives fighting for their country are also remembered by name. Each name is one of many in an endless sea of names, engraved names live on, in perpetuity.

These photographs are observations, visual notes that record how we commemorate our loved ones. It is sad to see evidence of care turning to neglect, to see cut flowers wilting and decaying at the site of a grave. It is extraordinary and commonplace to see grave markers of a death 100 years ago in pristine condition without any clues to the passage of time. Photographs present ambiguity, war torn landscapes recover, trees grow, there are still traces of the past to be seen.

Flowers are used in many ways as part of the process of memorialization, the Flanders poppy is perhaps one of the best known symbols of death associated with The Great War. In this exhibition flowers have a significant presence; photographs of ceramic flowers in graveyards in France and Belgium, plastic and silk flowers in cemeteries in Italy are placed next to wild flowers collected on the Western Front, specimens brought, into the darkroom, resulting in highly detailed jewel-like black & white prints ‘objectographs’.

There are several distinct elements; Keep your Kodak Busy… is a series of photographs taken through the lens of a 100 year, old Kodak Box Brownie No.2 documenting memorials that commemorate The First World War, and Shadow Drawings, a series of photogenic drawings of the melancholy Weeping Willow, cyanotypes, using the early (Sir John Herschel, 1842) photographic process to create blue prints, the intense references of grief and loss, as if tears falling from the sky

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9 March 2018 – Remember Me Conference (4-7 April, 2018) Programme Now Available!

The upcoming Remember Me conference which will be held from the 4th to the 7th of April 2018 is shaping up to be an engaging event featuring an exciting interdisciplinary, international line-up.

The full programme for the conference is now available and you can access it here: Remember Me Conference Programme – Final – Revisions 030418

Limited places remain for the conference as we are approaching capacity. Registration for the conference is completely free and you can find further information about how to register via our Events page.

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10 November 2017 – CONFERENCE REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

The Remember Me team is pleased to announce that registration for the Remember Me conference 2018 is now open. To register, please click the link below and login with the details provided below. The registration site includes our provisional programme, list of accepted papers and information about the social programme associated with the event.

Hosted in Hull, the UK City of Culture, as a legacy programme event, this interdisciplinary conference brings together British and international researchers from a wide range of disciplines, exploring themes relating to memorialisation, including:

  • The influence of role and identity on memorial forms and purposes
  • Emotional and behavioural aspects of memorialising practices
  • Religious, spiritual and secular meanings in death
  • The socio-political construction of death
  • Spaces and places: the geography of memorialisation
  • Gender, sexuality and age in death and memory
  • Socio-economic and cultural variations
  • The public/private interface
  • Applications to the professional cultures of health and social care practice and funeral and memorial services

Please visit our Events page for access to our registration website.

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5 October 2017 – CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS

The Remember Me case study “Celebrating the life? The hidden face of dementia” is now recruiting for two focus groups:

  • Have you been given a diagnosis of early dementia in the last five years or so? Would you like to take part in a research study looking at how people with dementia are remembered? Participant information available here: Call for Participants.
  • Do you work with people with dementia? Would you like to be involved in a research project exploring how people with dementia are memorialised? Participant information available here: Call for Participants.

We are interested in how people with dementia want to be remembered and their lives commemorated.

We will be holding focus groups in November and early December 2017. For further information please contact us via rememberme@hull.ac.uk.

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September 2017 – Dr Michael Drake (26 April 1958 – 28 August 2017)

Mik Drake

It is with regret that we report that Dr Michael Drake, Co-Investigator on the Remember Me Project, who led the case study “Heroes and Loved Ones” died unexpectedly on 28 August 2017, aged 59. Dr Drake joined the University in 2005 and was a respected member of staff and a highly valued member of the project team. He was Lecturer in the School of Education and Social Sciences, and was passionate about enhancing the student experience. Members of the Remember Me team attended his memorial service on the 19th of September with his family and close friends.

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12-15 July 2017 – Remember Me PI Emeritus Prof Margaret Holloway to present at 11th International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society.

Prof Holloway presented a paper entitled  ‘What can memorialisation tell us about grief?’ at The 11th International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society, held in Lisbon, Portugal.

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12 July 2017 – Remember Dr Nicholas Evans and Prof Angel McCarthy to present at British Association of Jewish Studies Annual Conference.

Dr Nicholas Evans, who is leading the case study “Identity, meaning and memorialisation in the British Diaspora” and Prof Angela McCarthy (University of Otago), presented a collaborative paper entitled  ‘Jewish epitaphs in global perspective’ at the ‘Jews on the Move’: British Association of Jewish Studies Annual Conference, held at the University of Edinburgh.

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30 June – 2 July 2017 – Remember Me CI Dr Michael S. Drake to present at WARM  Conference: Why Remember? Memory and Forgetting in Times of War and Its Aftermath.

Dr Michael S. Drake, who is leading the case study “Heroes and Loved Ones” presented a paper entitled  ‘The Ends of Commemoration: Centenary Remembrance of the British First World War Dead’, at the conference Why Remember? Memory and Forgetting in Times of War and Its Aftermath, held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dr Drake also reviewed the conference for our blog and you can read his review here.

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11-12 May 2017 – Remember Me Research Associate Dr Marcin Biernat to present at international conference in Poland.

Dr Biernat presented a paper entitled ‘Polish migrants’ narratives on family memory and traditions across generations’ at the conference Europa i Polska w dobie migracji. Postawa władz i społeczeństw państw europejskich wobec mniejszości narodowych, etnicznych i migrantów (Europe and Poland in the age of migration. European authorities’ and societies’ attitudes towards national and ethnic minorities and migrants), held at the University of Poznan in Poland.

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4-6 April 2017 – Remember Me Research Associate Dr Marcin Biernat to present at BSA Conference 2017.

Dr Biernat presented a paper co-authored with Remember Me CI Dr Lisa Dikomitis entitled ‘Memorialisation practices among Polish migrants in Hull’, at the BSA Annual Conference 2017, held at the University of Manchester.

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1-2 April 2017 – Remember Me Research Associate Dr Yvonne Inall to present at SPMA conference.

Yvonne Inall, Research Assistant on the case study Deep in Time presented a paper entitled ‘The Remember Me Project: Using contemporary social and cultural studies to inform our understanding of past cultural practice.’ at the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Congress Lectures held at the University of Hull.

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April 2017 – Remember Me Conference 2018 Call for Papers Now Open

From the 5th to 7th of April 2018 Remember Me. The Changing Face of Memorialisation will be hosting a conference which will showcase the key findings of the project and offer an opportunity for researchers to engage and present research from across a wide range of disciplines on themes relating to memorialisation.

Our call for papers is now open:

Remember Me. The Changing Face of Memorialisation

Interdisciplinary conference, 5-7 April 2018, Hull, UK

Call for Papers

This 2.5-day conference, sponsored by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, seeks to explore themes arising from the inter-disciplinary research project Remember Me. The Changing Face of Memorialisation. An associated exhibition and walking trail will run alongside the academic conference, which is open to the general public as well as to conference delegates. The Remember Me project team is comprised of researchers from applied social science, archaeology arts/humanities, history, pastoral theology, photography, political science, social work, socio-medical anthropology and sociology. Researchers in these and cognate fields are invited to submit an abstract (max 250 words) for an oral paper, poster or creative visual exhibit. Possible themes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The influence of role and identity on memorial forms and purposes
  • Emotional and behavioural aspects of memorialising practices
  • Religious, spiritual and secular meanings in death
  • The socio-political construction of death
  • Spaces and places: the geography of memorialisation
  • Gender, sexuality and age in death and memory
  • Socio-economic and cultural variations
  • The public/private interface
  • Applications to the professional cultures of health and social care practice and funeral and memorial services

Submissions from Early Career Researchers and PhD candidates are particularly encouraged.

Closing date for submission Friday 1 September 2017

For more information contact rememberme@hull.ac.uk

The form for abstract submissions can be downloaded here.

UPDATE: The call for papers is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract. Successful applicants will be notified on or around the 1st of October 2017.

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28-30 March 2017 – Remember Me CI Dr Nicholas Evans to present at the international conference: Jews in Racialized Spaces.

Dr Nicholas Evans presented a paper entitled ‘Stones Speak – Jewish burial culture and racial uncertainty in postcolonial Barbados’ at the Jews in Racialized Spaces conference held at the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies and Research, University of Cape Town.

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16 March 2017 – Remember Me CI Associate Professor Liz Nicol video presentation.

Liz Nicol presented her video ‘Jane and Eric’ at the Plymouth International Dementia Conference 2017, held at the University of Plymouth.

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25 November 2016 – Commemorating Diasporic Deaths at Home and Abroad since 1800 ESRC Seminar Series on Scotland’s Diasporas in Comparative International Perspective. In Collaboration with National Museums Scotland

Members of the Remember Me Project team presented:

  • ‘Scottish migrant headstones in Ceylon’ (Angela McCarthy, University of Otago)
  • ‘Remembering and re-remembering kith and kin in Scottish kirkyards’ (Nick Evans, University of Hull)

University of Hull PhD student Samuel North also presented a paper:

  • ‘Memorialising hidden history: Contesting colonial death in Cape Town’

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13 and 22 November 2016 – “HEROES AND LOVED ONES” FEEDBACK EVENTS

As the nation gathers to mark Remembrance Sunday the University of Hull is conducting research into memorialisation practices. A year ago members of the Remember Me research team and student volunteers attended Remembrance Sunday ceremonies in Beverley to conduct fieldwork. The team, led by Emeritus Professor Margaret Holloway, asked people to reflect on what Remembrance Sunday meant to them, how and why they chose to participate in the ceremonies. Members of the community warmly welcomed the researchers and made a tremendous contribution to the study.

This year, the Remember Me team is returning to Beverley to share the findings of their research. The results confirm the important place Remembrance Sunday holds for those who attend the ceremonies, with most people choosing to attend every year and more than half came to remember a particular person. Yet, people’s reasons for attendance were more varied than expected.

Preliminary findings from the research will be displayed in Beverley Minster on Remembrance Sunday, presenting an opportunity for community members to learn about the research they have contributed to.

A more formal feedback event is being hosted on the evening of Tuesday the 22nd of November at East Riding College, Flemingate in Beverley. Dr Michael S. Drake, Co-Investigator and lead on the “Heroes and Loved Ones” study, and Research Fellow Dr Mirka Hukelova will present their findings and Principal Investigator, Emeritus Professor Margaret Holloway will speak about the one of the key themes emerging from the research. Attendees will have an opportunity to openly discuss what Remembrance Sunday means to them now, and into the future.

“Heroes and Loved Ones” is part of our wider research project, “Remember Me: The Changing Face of Memorialisation”, led by Emeritus Professor Margaret Holloway. The 30-month multidisciplinary project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with a grant totalling £850,000, is the first systematic attempt to study new types of mourning rituals surrounding death and dying.

Other strands to the research includes looking at memorialisation among Polish migrants in Hull, free-writing in palliative care, archaeological and diasporic death, and remembrance of dementia sufferers.

Research is being carried out by historians, social scientists, archaeologists and ethnographers and will culminate in a major national conference and public exhibition in 2018.

For more information about these events contact 01482 466376 or rememberme@hull.ac.uk

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20 September 2016 –Dr Nicholas Evans interviewed by Estuary TV news.

An interview Remember Me Co-Investigator, Dr Nicholas Evans aired on Estuary TV on 20 September. Dr Evans spoke about the history of Hull’s municipal crematorium, the first in the country. The full interview can be watched on catch-up here (time index 29:25 to 34:42).

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8-9 September 2016 –Dr Yvonne Inall presented at the (Dis)Connected Forms: Narratives of the Fractured Self Conference at the University of Hull.

Whole Life? – Fragmented Death?

Archaeological excavations of Iron Age sites across Britain have encountered fragmentary human remains deposited within settlement boundaries, and incorporated into domestic houses. The collection, circulation and deposition of fragmented remains would have played an important role in commemorating the identity of a dead person, or in the negotiation and renegotiation of the relationships between the living and the dead. Depositing remains within homes and settlements, as places of the living, may have served as a rite of incorporation back into the community as potent ancestors offering protection from dangerous supernatural forces (or even as a means to placate or control potentially malevolent spirits), and reinforcing kin group and community cohesion.

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1-3 September 2016 – Dr Nicholas Evans, Dr Yvonne Inall, Prof Suzanne Schwarz and Sam North will all be presenting aspects of their research at the Death and Culture Conference at the University of York.

Nicholas J. Evans (University of Hull)

The exclusivity of memorialisation on the sugar island of Barbados

This paper by Evans considers the changing face of memorialisation in Britain’s first sugar colony of Barbados. Settled by Portuguese, Dutch and British settlers including Jews, Christians and enslaved Africans, it remained an important part of the British World during and after the abolition of slavery. Memorialisation between 1627 and 1833 sought to portray the lives and identities of white planters in differing formal and informal burial sites. In contrast to the white elites who governed Barbadian life enslaved workers were often buried in undocumented spaces – spaces that remain unmarked despite the abolition of slavery in 1833 and then decolonisation in 1966. The exception to this story has been the Newton Sugar Plantation where the burial site is now gaining prominence as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This paper contrasts the utility of burial heritage on the island after 1966 when Barbados secured independence from Britain. Slave burial goods and former burial sites have been used (arguably abused) by differing groups eager to maintain a connection with the former Mother Country. Rather than being stigmatised the former burial spaces of the slave owning plantocracy now offer evidence of how British the island was to the 500,000 Brits who travel to the Caribbean island each year.

Yvonne Inall and Malcolm Lillie

The living dead: enduring relationships between the living and the dead in prehistoric Britain

Prehistoric deathscapes in Britain are layered with discursive memorialisations, referencing, elaborating and reinterpreting existing landscape features (Ingold 2010; Williams, 2006). Relationships between the living, the dead and the landscape are renegotiated. This paper foregrounds the dialectic aspects of memory formation which imbue the recently deceased with the mnemonic power of an existing deathscape, creating reoriented ancestral identities for the deceased and their ongoing relationship with the living.

Schwarz, Suzanne (University of Worcester)

Burial practices and the burial heritage of slavery and emancipation at Freetown

The panel’s second paper by Schwarz explores the way in which Sierra Leone’s shifting role as a source of slave supply and subsequently as an abolitionist-inspired colony is reflected in burial sites, religious buildings and documentary sources. This analysis of mortality, burial and commemoration associated with different migrant groups in Sierra Leone in the late 18th and 19th Centuries draws on surviving memorial inscriptions in Freetown and its hinterland.

Samuel North (University of Hull)

Memorialising colonial death in modern Cape Town: forgotten voices, contested identities

This discusses the contested nature of memorialising diasporic death in urban Cape Town, South Africa, after the fall of apartheid. Beneath the modern city lie a number of mostly undiscovered and unmarked burial grounds pertinent to the area’s colonial history. Cape Town is a space in which colonialism has historically been remembered through a lens which glorifies Dutch and British settlement, with a particular focus on the achievements of white men. The contributions made by the lower classes in shaping the modern city are implicit in the built landscape, though are only recognised sparingly. It is only after the fall of apartheid in 1994 that the story of these deceased ancestors “closely linked with the history of slavery at the Cape” has begun to be told. Rather than work towards reconciliation in a national reconstruction period however, the rediscovery of this memory has instead exposed divisions in place of what could be seen as an inclusive shared heritage of diasporic death. This paper draws upon case studies from around urban Cape Town – including the prominent Prestwich Street dispute – to highlight the interrelated and sometimes opposing interests of post-apartheid identity politics, tourism, and the memorialisation of death. It reveals how slavery at the Cape remains a problematic heritage almost two hundred years after the institution’s demise.

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13 June 2016 – Dr Michael S. Drake presented his research: “Biopower and the political life of the military war dead”, to the Authority & Political Technologies 2016: Biopolitical Matters – a symposium, University of Warwick June 13-14 2016.

This paper reads ritualised practices of commemoration – the spectacular commemoration of the military war dead – as a reflexive function of the biopolitical body corporate. Drawing on recent research data, it shows how changes in practices of collective remembrance can illuminate a submerged formation of the biopolitical, the imaginary dead which constitute a conscience collective, invoking obligation and indebtedness among the living who are identified with this monstrous dead. Interpreting current research findings from the case-study “Heroes and Loved Ones”, part of AHRC-funded project, Remember Me: The Changing Face of Memorialisation, the paper shows how the late modern biopolitical shift from mass to individual has displaced the nation from the core of the ritual commemoration of the war dead, emptying the collective ritual, but producing a politics of depoliticisation. In this postnational affective economy, the previously shared burdens of biopolitical identification with the military dead are now borne by individuals each alone amongst the many who are charged with fulfilling this duty of care in remembering bereft of the collectivity that such ritual may have originally constituted.

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19th February 2016 – Surveying Memorialisation in Freetown

In December a member of our team, Dr Lee Karen Stow, visited Freetown in Sierra Leone, West Africa, to explore different forms of memorialisation. See our blog for more detail and some interesting photos.

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November 2015 – Heroes and Loved Ones “Poems” and interviews.

We are now in the process of interviewing volunteers as part of our study “Heroes and Loved Ones” . It’s been a wonderful experience with many different stories which will make an enormous contribution to our research. Dr Mirka Hukelova was particularly touched when given 2 poems by one of the interviewees to share with others. She hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as she did. See our blog for more detail.

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10th November 2015 – “Lest we forget”: Heroes and loved ones

Emeritus Professor Margaret Holloway of the University of Hull has contributed the article “Lest we forget”: Heroes and Loved Ones’ to Beverley Minster Magazine, November 2015.

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9th November 2015

As part of our case study entitled “Heroes and Loved Ones”, we undertook a brief survey of participants in the Parade and Remembrance Service in Beverley Minster on 8 November 2015. This survey also included the people who congregated in the town. The survey was undertaken to ascertain their reasons for participating, and the meanings which they attached to the service and surrounding ceremonies.

There was an opportunity for individuals or small groups to make their own personal memorial through photographic portraits which was facilitated by the teams creative artist Liz Nicol. Over the ensuing weeks we will invite a cross-section of participants to take part in a face-to-face interview to explore these themes in greater depth.

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