Anglia Law School sponsors 'Community of the Dead' interdisciplinary conference

Published: 10 February 2014 at 15:02

Community of the Dead conference - speakers from left to right:  Dr Joost Fontein, Dr John Harries (both of Edinburgh University), Dr Nicola Rees (Kingston University), Dr Julie Rugg (York University), Dr Duncan Sayer (University of Central Lancashire) and Jane Martin (Anglia Law School)

Held on the Cambridge Campus on 30 January 2014, the Community of the Dead conference looked at the contested claims to human remains and reviewed our relationship, both individually and as a community, with the remains of the dead.

The conference focussed on the practical difficulties of the ever-increasing challenge of full cemeteries and the exhumation of remains in the course of construction and archaeological excavations. This is an increasingly controversial and emotive issue that tests the ability of the law, researchers and diverse communities to find an agreed resolution.

The conference was well attended with 65 delegates, the majority of whom were academics and students from archaeology, anthropology and law. Jane Martin, of Anglia Law School, said:

"The Anglia Law School specifically sponsored this conference as an interdisciplinary showcase bringing together law, archaeology, anthropology and its practical ramifications for the construction industry and the heritage arena. I was delighted by the attendance and the accompanying buzz as delegates clearly enjoyed networking and renewing connections. We brought together leaders in the field from the UK and abroad to herald what will be annual conferences for the Anglia Law School."

Speakers included: Mr John Doyle (Construction Manager, Crossrail), Dr Joost Fontein, Dr John Harries (both of Edinburgh University, Bones Collective), Ms Jane Martin (Anglia Law School, Anglia Ruskin University), Dr Nicola Rees (Kingston University Law Department), Dr Julie Rugg (Senior Research Fellow, York University, Cemetery Centre), Dr Duncan Sayer (University of Central Lancashire) and Dr Hilary Soderland (University of Washington).