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I'm an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of York. I completed my undergraduate degree in Sociology and Social Science at Canterbury Christ Church University. Following that, I undertook a Masters in Criminology and Criminal Psychology at the University of Greenwich. Coupled with my background in Sociology, my Masters dissertation allowed me to combine elements of Sociology and Criminology, which I used to explore the relationship between serial murder and the development of capitalism.
This sparked an interest in conducting interdisciplinary research, which led me to the world of Death Studies. My PhD research combines elements of Sociology and Anthropology. The project focuses on the analogy of corpse parts as waste, otherwise known as ‘necro-waste’. Drawing on theories of value, I am exploring the value attached to and generated out of necro-waste as it passes through the UK Death Industry. This value is highlighted at three stages in the UK Death Industry. The first of these is the gatekeeping stage. This is where the necro-waste is prepared for disposal by the funeral director. Two methods of disposal are then focussed on; disposal through cremation and disposal through natural burial. This is because these produce two different types of waste; dry waste and wet waste. Each of these offers the opportunity for the necro-waste to be commemorated. As such, the third stage focuses on the artists that reuse cremated remains in these commemorative rituals. This stage also explores what becomes of the natural burial ground.
More widely, I have been involved in the Encountering Corpses seminar series as a postgraduate member. I am also a part of the Death and Culture Network. Within this, I am currently involved in an effort to create a network for early career researchers interested in Death Studies. If you are interested in being a part of this, I would be delighted to hear from you.
My research interests are:
Robins, D, (2017), ‘Toxic Necro-Waste’, Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 6, (10), 39-42.
Robins, D, (2017), ‘Dealing with Toxic Necro-Waste’, Discover Society, https://discoversociety.org/2017/10/31/dealing-with-toxic-necro-waste/
Robins, D, (2017), ‘Corpses in the Threshold: Overcoming Toxicity’, Threshold. https://thresholdyork.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/corpses-in-the-threshold-overcoming-toxicity/
Robins, D. (2017). 'The Poisonous Corpse: Disposing of Toxic Necro-Waste'. Invited Speaker. Encountering Corpses III. Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester. 9-10th December.
Robins, D. (2017). ‘The value of necro-waste: 3 minute soapbox’. Waste: Moving from Rubbish to Resource. University of York, York. 18th September 2017.
Robins, D. (2017). ‘How the University of Greenwich helped me to approach corpses’. Invited speaker. University of Greenwich Criminology Student Conference. University of Greenwich, London. 13th June 2017.
I have also previously taught on 'Introducing Social Psychology'.