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Professor Emeritus of Death Studies, University of Bath

I was a freelance writer for many years, before becoming Lecturer, then Reader, in Sociology at the University of Reading 1994-2007.

In the mid-1980s, I wrote three books on unemployment and social security, but since the 1990s I have focused on researching, writing and lecturing on death in modern society, e.g. funerals, afterlife beliefs, personal bereavement and public mourning, human remains in museums, new discourses of spirituality, death in the news media and in online social media.

I have helped promote the interdisciplinary study of death and society, and collaborated with colleagues in, for example, religious studies, history, archaeology, linguistics, psychology, social work, geography, computer science, medicine, and gerontology.

I also work with the churches and Civil Ceremonies Ltd to train funeral celebrants.

I joined the University of Bath in 2006, and from 2011-15 was Director of its Centre for Death & Society. My latest books are 'What Death Means Now: Thinking Critically About Dying And Grieving', published by Policy Press (2017) and 'Death in the Modern World', published by Sage (2020)


  • –present
    Professor of Death Studies, University of Bath