This list includes abstracts from the Colloquium since 2005. Papers from the Virtual Colloquium held in November 2023 are marked [v].

Antonio Delgado 2005

University of Beira Interior, Portugal

The aesthetics of death: freedom and individualisation in the funeral art of Portuguese cemeteries of the 19th and 20th centuries

Here I want to look at funeral art as it may be seen in Portuguese public cemeteries designed in the 19th century, with some attention to the changes in outlook and urban planning that occurred in the late 18th. It was these changes that converted the cemetery into a new symbolic structure within the urban space. The cemetery we know today arose from the hygienic precepts of that earlier time. In Portugal the emergence of public cemeteries entailed complications and indeed social conflict, […]

David Lambert 2005

The Parks Agency, UK

A conservation management plan for the City of London Cemetery

Most cemeteries are historic. While only a tiny percentage of cemeteries are included on national lists of historic parks and gardens, the majority, being laid out before 1914, are historic in at least a local or regional context.  Furthermore, while no one knows the numbers, it is likely that listing of built structures under-represents the historic interest of cemetery structures as a type. But if we want to avoid heritage and its connotations, cemeteries are special places, […]

Ivan Emke 2005

University of Newfoundland

‘Bury me in the cold, cold ground’: the demand for winter funerals in two Newfoundland communities

This is a case study of evolving burial policies in two Newfoundland communities, where the most where the most contentious current issue relates to the burial of bodies during the winter season. Cemetery associations argue that it is too expensive to clear the snow and dig through the frozen ground, all the while avoiding damage to other monuments.  On the other hand, some community members argue that they should have the right to winter burials, to assist with closure (instead of having to wait for a burial in the spring, […]

Kate Woodthorpe 2005

University of Sheffield, UK

The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ disposal of the deceased

Arguably death is no longer the ‘taboo’ that is was once infamously described as by Ariès, evidenced by the wealth of information available now on death and dying. In many ways this growth in a Sociology of Death is as a result of the development of the palliative care movement. This paper proposes that within a Sociology of Death the dying process and bereavement care have dominated discussion, and that the disposal of the body and memorialisation are the marginalised (the taboo) topics of today. […]

Katerina Tsatoucha 2005

Department of Architecture, Municipality of Athens, Greece

Characteristics and patterns of classicism in the funerary art of Greece

The funerary art depicts the social conditions, as well as, the influences of current architectural and sculptural trends. Local tradition can be traced also in the aesthetics of this art. The case of cemeteries in Greece, over the 19th century, mainly the First Cemetery of Athens and the Cemetery of Syros reflects all these aspects. It is worth noticing that particularly the cemetery of Athens is associated with the rebirth of the New Greek State after four centuries of cultural silence. […]

Liisa Lindgren 2005

Central Art Archives in the Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, Finland

From metropolis to necropolis

My paper deals with Lutheran funerary sculpture in Finland and the modernist rejection of the 19th century cemetery culture. The emotional weight of the elaborate 19th cemetery culture was given tension by the dichotomies of time and timelessness, presence and absence, sorrow and comfort. Memorials with the popular theme of mourning represented absence sharpened by feelings of sorrow and loss that structured the modern experience of the world. The cemetery was seen as an ideal place for reflection on death, […]


The Cemetery Research Group runs two events a year: in May and in November. Follow the links and send in an abstract