Join Death Party Philadelphia member Allison Matia for an exploration of the relationship between death and the nervous system.
As technology and medical science advance, the distinction between life and death becomes ever more ambiguous. Historically, death was defined as loss of cardiac function. With the advent of life support technology, vital functions can be maintained artificially after the nervous system fails to sustain them. This phenomenon has led to a paradigm shift in the way death is defined.
In modern times, death is diagnosed using neurological criteria. While we now use a neurological definition of death, the criteria for this definition are still difficult to articulate due to the many different physiological processes that sustain life and the various ways in which technology can maintain them when the nervous system fails.
This presentation will explore the history of how death has been defined, how death is currently defined, and the physiological and technological factors that make the exact point of death so difficult to determine and define.
The following points will be presented:
- The definitions of and distinctions between brain death, coma, and persistent vegetative state.
- The criteria physicians use to diagnose death.
- Legal implications of how death is defined, most notably, when organs can be legally harvested for donation.
Tickets are free but highly encouraged: https://www.facebook.com/events/501818557026388/
Allison Matia is a Neuroscience Ph.D. student at Rutgers University where she studies the neural representations of odor mixtures at multiple points in the olfactory circuit. She is interested in disseminating the tenets of Death Positivity more broadly into U.S. culture.
Do you folks follow our Death Party Twitter account? How about our Instagram? You should! We post all sorts of Death Positive stuff, pictures from our monthly meetings, re-tweets of death and death adjacent content and much, much more!
The Twitter: https://twitter.com/deathpartyph
We had an amazing year of programming at Death Party Philadelphia in 2018, with our monthly meetings covering diverse topics that span the death positivity community. We’ve discussed Death and Disability, Compassion Fatigue, Cemetery Semiotics, Human Taxidermy with tattooed skin, Dying (legislation) in Pennsylvania and even a screening of the feature documentary The Nurse with the Purple Hair (with exclusive introduction by iconic director Sean S. Cunningham and a Q&A with the film’s subject Michelle Lasota) and we still have one more Death Party Party of the year!
On Sunday, December 16th we’ll be meeting at our regular spot to bid farewell to 2018 with our annual holiday party and Secret Skeleton gift exchange- but that’s not all! We’ll be discussing 2019 programming and we’d love to round table topics and presenters for next year’s schedule.
If there’s a subject or presenter you think would fit our model, or if you’d like to speak at one of our monthly meetings, please join us and pitch the idea! We’re nothing without the voices of the Death Positive community, and we’d love to add your voice to our sometimes off key choir.
We can’t promise that we’ll have time in our calendar for every suggested topic but we’re ready to listen.
W: Sunday February 25th.
W: https://www.facebook.com/deathpartyPHL for more information.
In this illustrated talk, independent researcher and artist Evi Numen navigates our complex relationship with insects as it pertains to ideas of death, and explores insect symbolism, deification, and myth across cultures and history.
Evi Numen is an artist, curator, and independent researcher from Athens, Greece. She received her Bachelor and Master of Fine arts from the University of Pennsylvania.
She held the position of Exhibitions Manager & Designer at the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia from 2009 to 2016. During this time, Numen has organized, designed and installed multiple exhibitions at the Mütter Museum as well as curated their contemporary medical themed art shows.
Her museum photography has been published in numerous outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Guardian.
She has provided photographs and design works to several fiction and non-fiction publications including the collection of short stories Boy of Bone by K.R. Sands and Dr. Mütter’s Marvels by Christin Aptowisz, as well as album covers for alternative bands. Numen has exhibited her photographs in group shows in Pennsylvania,, New York and Maryland.
She is the founder and curator of thanatography.com, an online exhibition of contemporary mourning art and writing, and is currently training to become a death doula.
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.