Greetings, welcome, thanks for stopping by! Allow me to introduce myself and tell you a little about what this blog is about, and what I hope for it to be.
My name is (not actually, obviously) Nenia Dea, and I really, really, really like dead stuff. Like, a lot. I swear it’s in a scientific-interest-slash-lifelong-fascination kind of way though, and not the I-sleep-with-dead-animals-in-my-bed way. I’ve wanted to work around death in some capacity since I can remember, and throughout my life, all of my career choices have reflected that. I’ve wanted to be a homicide detective, a forensic pathologist, an autopsy technician, a forensic anthropologist – you get the idea.
I actually very nearly went into forensic anthropology. I went to grad school with the goal of getting a PhD in physical anthropology and specializing in forensics, somehow ended up doing mortuary archaeology (which is very similar), wrote a Master’s thesis on archaeological photography of human burials, and then decided to become a funeral director/embalmer instead because academia is a weird, uncomfortable place that I did not enjoy at all. I might do a post about it sometime, but I might not, because it’s a very personal, subjective, and somewhat political topic that currently doesn’t fit with what I want this blog to be.
So, what do I want this blog to be?
The two things at the top of the very short list of things I’ll miss about academia are learning and teaching. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m pretty awesome at research, and I believe that people should be able to educate themselves without necessarily having to attend university. So, if I’m going to research the topics that interest me on my own time, what better way to share them than an easily accessible blog? Isn’t it great to live in the future?
Some of the topics that I hope to cover here include the scientific (how does embalming work? what happens when we decompose?), the historical (how did modern embalming develop? Why did the Victorians love paintings of skulls so much? Why did they take pictures of their dead relatives?), and the cultural (Why is Europe full of bedazzled skeletons? What’s the deal with sky burials? Why do some people keep their dead relatives at home for years before burying them?). There’ll no doubt also be archaeology and anthropology cropping up now and then, since, you know, I have just a little education on those subjects.
So, if that sounds like your jam, welcome to the club! Stick around, and if there’s a topic that you want me to cover, leave a comment and let me know!