S01E02: Human Remains

We talk about human remains: how we might approach them as conservators, philosophical topics like consent and time, and examples from all over the world. Listen to an interview with conservator Barbara Wills sharing her experiences. We even review a topical book!

00:25 News in brief
01:35 Our experiences of working with the dead
03:18 Radio Newcastle snippet interviewing conservators Christina and Diana about mummies
05:00 Reactions to different types of human remains from the public – and from us!
08:10 Storage examples, the story of Bob, and Jeremy Bentham
12:12 Recent vs. ancient human remains
15:15 Consent, ethics, and privacy
21:58 Should we conserve human bodies?
24:20 Interview: Barbara Wills chats about her experiences with mummies
35:40 Contemplations, anxieties, and coping strategies as conservators
41:04 What really counts as human remains?
45:25 Context is everything: what about how they died and how long ago?
49:20 Licensing
53:00 Funerary objects
55:20 Review: The Conservation of Hair (book)

Show Notes:

– Heritage Science Group Photo Competition: http://icon.org.uk/news/icon-heritage-science-group-photo-competition-launched
– National Army Museum: “Watch the conservation of Major ‘Bronco’ Lane’s frostbitten toes” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntBE9gAhDD0
– Jeremy Bentham: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Bentham
– Preservation of Lenin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenin’s_Mausoleum
– ‘The Sleeping Beauty’ Rosalia Lombardo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalia_Lombardo
– Body Worlds by Gunther von Hagens: http://www.bodyworlds.com/en.html
– Ötzi the Iceman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96tzi
– Further reading for people interested in Barbara’s work: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/publications/research_publications_series/2015/regarding_the_dead.aspx
– Human Remains in Museums (Museums Association): https://www.museumsassociation.org/campaigns/8125
– Human Tissue Authority: https://www.hta.gov.uk/
– The Conservation of Hair: https://www.archetype.co.uk/publication-details.php?id=227

Hosted by Jenny Mathiasson, Kloe Rumsey, and Christina Rozeik

Intro and outro music by DDmyzik used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

A Wooden Dice production, 2017.

S01E01: Demographics

We discuss who we are as conservators: the demographics, the diversity (or lack thereof), and what a typical conservator is like. Who are we, why are we, and can we change it?

00:50 News in brief
01:26 Who are we? What does a typical conservator look like?
04:55 Stereotypes of conservators
10:05 Education and qualifications
14:14 Age range in conservators – and previous careers!
17:48 Disabilities amongst conservators
26:56 Ethnicity and class
36:20 Is there a white middle class way of conserving objects?
41:23 Summary
42:08 Men in conservation (and why we love them)
44:30 Review: Toggl app
47:06 Comments, questions, corrections

Show Notes:

– Propose a session for Museums Association’s 2017 Conference: http://www.museumsassociation.org/news/24012017-propose-a-session-for-manchester-2017
– Conservation Labour Market Intelligence Survey: http://icon.org.uk/system/files/documents/conservation_labour_market_intelligence_2012-13_0.pdf
– Toggl timekeeping app: http://www.toggl.com

Hosted by Jenny Mathiasson, Kloe Rumsey, and Christina Rozeik.

Intro and outro music by DDmyzik used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

A Wooden Dice production, 2017.