Laura King and Jessica Hammett are historians based at the University of Leeds. Laura is Associate Professor in Modern British History, and researches the changing history of personal, family and emotional life over the twentieth century. She has published on the histories of fatherhood, masculinity, childbirth, children and family archives, and teaches on these subjects in the School of History at the University. Her project ‘Living with Dying: Everyday Cultures of Dying within Family Life in Britain, c.1900-50s’ explores changing experiences of death and dying. Using autobiographies, family histories and interviews, the research explores how people’s ways of remembering the dead have changed over time, and why. Jessica Hammett is Public Engagement Fellow on the Living with Dying project, and is working with a range of groups in Leeds to think about practices around death, dying and remembrance in the past and the present. More broadly, she is interested in how ideas about friendship, family and community have changed in twentieth-century Britain.
Together, we are collaborating with a range of partners and exploring ways of using the research outside of academia, such as an exhibition at Abbey House Museum, collaborations with Leeds City Council and Leeds Bereavement Forum through the Dying Matters Partnership. Laura and Jessica collaborated with The Grief Series in hosting a conference on ‘The Senses and Spaces of Death, Dying and Remembrance’ in April 2018. Laura has acted a historical consultant on Part 6 of The Grief Series, and Jessica is evaluating how visitors experience the caravan.