Morbid Curiosity in Museums and Historic Sites
Join Death Party Philadelphia on Sunday, February 24th, as we welcome Beth Savastana, Program and Volunteer Coordinator at Laurel Hill Cemetery! Drawing from her years of academic and professional experience, Beth will make the case for museum and historic sites using the display of human remains and other “morbid” content to generate interest and revenue. While acknowledging the valuable educational and cultural benefits associated with putting death on display, Beth will also examine the ethical debates that continue to surround these types of exhibitions. This meet is a must for any card-carrying Laurel Hill and Mütter Museum member, so don’t miss it!
Beth Savastana has embraced death starting at a young age with an obsession of mummies and archaeology. This led her to receive a B.A. in Archaeology from Lycoming College. Two years later she continued her education with an M.A. in Museum Studies from The University of Leicester in England. While there she chose her dissertation topic on museums derived from former medical collections and the educational and financial benefits that can come from displaying them today. Serendipitously, she began working at Laurel Hill Cemetery in 2014 and has been living her thesis since by helping the public get pumped about death in Victorian times and encouraging all to view cemeteries as beautiful museums…not places of fear and dread.
We’ve buried 2018 and are looking forward to a smooth ride into the new year! Thanks to everyone who’s come out to our monthly Death Parties, who’s interacted with us on social media and all of y’all fighting the good fight for death positivity. Let’s make 2019 a great one!
Where do we go when we die? While world religions have their own version of where the soul goes when we die, this multi-media presentations curated by DPP member Shawn Porter takes a humorously visceral approach to strange and unusual destinations for the corpse, touching on such cheerful topics as human taxidermy, incorruptibles and religious cannibalism.
And there’ll be snacks.
Doors will be closed at 6:30 on Sunday August 26th, so please do your best to be on time. (which means early)
https://www.facebook.com/events/179017749424004 for more information.
The semiotics of the bone orchard will be the subject of our May meeting- this time as a group field trip to the Laurel Hill Cemetery. DPP founding member John Haldeman will giving a short presentation on symbols commonly found on headstones, followed by a scavenger hunt to see what symbols we can find at Laurel Hill.
We’ll be meeting at the main entrance of the park around 2pm;
Laurel Hill Cemetery
3822 Ridge Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19132
In the case of inclement weather we’ll be meeting at our usual location for John’s presentation and maybe a movie.
(Special thanks to the Laurel Hill Cemetery for allowing our group to meet up on their grounds. You can find out more information on supporting LHC here: https://thelaurelhillcemetery.org/support)
For our last meet of 2017, we’ll be exploring the polarizing issue of the right to die. Julia will open with an overview of the topic and then will facilitate a discussion. As always, all opinions are welcome and will be respected as such. Please come with an open mind and ready to unpack this complicated but extremely important subject.
Interested in attending? The Facebook RSVP has all of the information you’ll need to join the party: DPPFB.
Julia Porter has been plagued by death anxiety for as long as she can remember. After discovering the good work being done by the death positive community she felt a great sense of empowerment knowing how much control we actually have around the way we die. She is now passionate about creating space for death related discussions and information sharing through her work as a founding member of Death Party Philadelphia. Julia is a Human Resources professional in Philadelphia where she lives with her husband and fellow Death Party member, Shawn, and their animal companions Bailey and Ron.
Join DPP founding member Diane Lepore for a presentation and discussion on the diverse topic of posthumous organ donation. We’ll be exploring all sides of this topic so, as always, get ready for a lively conversation.
We’re on a tight schedule this month so out of respect for the presenter and the space *please* be on time.
Very excited to learn and discuss! See you all on Sunday!
For information on attending, please visit our Facebook group: Death Party Philadelphia.
In keeping with our mission to empower everyone with as much information as possible so that we can all have as much say in the kind of death we want, this month we’ll dive deep into the art and science of corpse preparation (embalming, etc.) and restoration.
Death Party Philadelphia founding member John Haldeman will be leading us in this multimedia presentation. As always, we look forward to an evening of death positive conversation and community and we hope to see you there!
Sunday April 30th 2017 at 6pm. Email email@example.com for more information.
We’ve scheduled our Death Party dates for the remainder of 2017- the regular schedule will have the meetings on the last Sunday of the month. Our March meeting will start at 6:30pm on Sunday March 26th:
This month, Kelly will present her efforts towards creating a one-stop death-positive resource shop. From info on advance care directives and planning a home funeral to online compendiums of Victorian mourning jewelry and links to formal death education courses and programs, let’s create our very own Death Party reference center! Kelly’s list will be comprehensive but by no means complete, so come prepared to contribute your own favorite deathy resources and web presences!
What is a Death Doula?
For our February 26th meeting, DPP member Evi Numen led a discussion on her journey of death acceptance, adventures in volunteering at hospice care and her path to becoming a Death Doula. While still a relatively new concept, Evi took us through the stages of it’s history, the training required and some of the potential scenarios one could expect in that role.
Our next meeting will be on the last Sunday in March. For more information, check out our Facebook group for up to date information: Join the Party.