An Evening of Death
Death and grieving are essential aspects of human experience and imagining. And yet, discussion of both remains heavily circumscribed.
This public forum to lifted the veil and peered into the unknown with special guests Dr Brooke Davis, Dr Fiona Jenkins and Dr Jennifer Rodger. Our speakers considered the nature of death and grief from three critical perspectives: literature, philosophy and neuroscience. They considered the manner in which stories may be used to translate grief, the nature of death itself, the ways in which death shapes the lives of the living, and the impact grief has on our brains. Our goal was to spark a conversation about mortality and our relationship to it, one that we hope will encourage greater critical reflection on cultural taboos that constrain the lived experience of loss.
- Dr Brooke Davis
- Brooke Davis holds an honours degree from the University of Canberra and a PhD from Curtin University, both in creative writing. Lost and Found, her first novel, received the Australian Book Industry Awards General Fiction Book Of The Year in 2015, the Western Australian Premier's Book Award for Emerging Writers in 2016, and the iBooks Fiction Book of the Year in 2015.
- Dr Fiona Jenkins
- Fiona Jenkins is Associate Professor in the School of Philosophy, RSSS, Australian National University. Her current research covers two projects, one on Judith Butler, which focuses on questions of political legitimacy, violence and non-violence, in post-national frameworks; the other on gender equity and ideas of 'excellence' in academic disciplines. She teaches on contemporary French philosophy, on Nietzsche, on film, and on radical democratic theory. She is the author of five books, including Love, Death and Freedom, a treatise on French existential philosophy.
- Dr Jennifer Rodger
- Jennifer Rodger is an Associate Professor and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow in Experimental and Regenerative Neurosciences within the School of Animal Biology, at The University of Western Australia. She currently leads a research team investigating issues of brain plasticity relevant to brain disorders. Her most recent work focuses on the use of pulsed magnetic fields to promote neural circuit reorganisation and repair.