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Professor Michael Brennan

School of Social Science Admin Office
0151 291 3501

I am Head of the School of Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology at Liverpool Hope University. Previously (2013-14) I taught within the School of Government at Plymouth University, and prior to that (2008-12) at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, USA, where I was Associate Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for Death Education & Bioethics, and Sociology section head in a combined Department of Archaeology and Sociology. I have a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick (2004); an MA in Social & Political Thought, also from the University of Warwick (1999); and a BA in Applied Sociology (First Class Hons.) from the University of Leicester (1996).

My research interests are located primarily in the sociology of death and dying, and my work has been published widely: in book form; in academic journals (including Mortality, Death Studies, Sociology, Theory, Culture & Society; Omega: Journal of Death & Dying; and Illness, Crisis & Loss); as chapters in edited book collections; and in educational, professional and practice-driven outlets such as the 'A' Level journal Sociology Review, the online magazine of social research, Discover Society, the British Sociological Association's (BSA) Network, the Association for Death Education and Counseling's (ADEC) Forum and Nursing Standard - journal of the UK's Royal College of Nursing. Recent books include Theorising the Popular (2017), The A-Z of Death & Dying (2014) and Mourning & Disaster (2008).

I am currently engaged in several ongoing research projects, including: on public dying and 'pathography' (i.e. first-person narrative accounts of long-term sickness, terminal illness and/or bereavement); on dark tourism and the future of thanatology; and on sociological work on death, dying and bereavement as public sociology. Recent research has examined the methodological uses and intersection of biography in death, dying and bereavement; social death and its implications for practice; materiality in mourning; and the relationship between culture and loss as manifested in industrial ruination and dereliction tourism.

I regularly present my work at conferences and in the last few years have contributed talks at the Centre for Death and Society's (CDAS) annual conference in Bath; the British Sociological Association's Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement Study Group symposium; at the Royal Geographical Society's (RGB) conference in London; and the Death Online Research Symposium (DORS). I contribute my experience through consultancy and media work, serve on the editorial boards of several international peer-reviewed journals (including Memory Studies, Methodological Innovations, and Illness, Crisis & Loss); and as a reviewer for UKRI funding bids, academic books (Bloomsbury, Routledge, Sage etc.) and journals, including: Mortality; American Journal of Sociology; Death Studies; Omega: Journal of Death & Dying; The American Sociologist; Sociological Research Online; and Theory, Culture & Society.