Dr Naomi Richards
- Lecturer (School of Interdisciplinary Studies)
I am a social anthropologist specialising in death and dying, ageing and old age, and visual and ethnographic methods. Over the last decade I have undertaken empirical and theoretical investigations into the UK right-to-die debate, including examining the beliefs of British ‘suicide tourists’ travelling to Switzerland for help to die, and the phenomenon of old age rational suicide. I am currently involved in a Wellcome funded study examining the relationship between palliative care and assisted dying in three different jurisdictions where the practice is lawful. I am also involved in a Wellcome funded study examining the global transfer and translation of the death café phenomenon.
Over the years, I have collaborated on research projects about: challenging stereotypes of older women; transitions to palliative care in the hospital setting, particularly for frail older people; and sensory and palliative care approaches for people with advanced dementia.
I have a long-standing interest in documentary filmmaking stemming from a Masters in Visual Anthropology from the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology in Manchester where I was trained in the art of documentary filmmaking and visual analysis.
- Cultural attitudes to death and dying
- End of life issues facing older people
- Dementia and end of life decision-making
- Assisted dying
- Centenarians and the 'oldest old'
- Socio-economic deprivation and end of life experiences
- Testimony, witnessing and narrative at the end of life
- Visual representations of older people
- Visual representations of death and dying
- Visual methods; Ethnographic methods
ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship award (2012-14)
I welcome enquiries about supervision relating to my research interests in: anthropology of death and dying; assisted dying; community models of end of life care; inequalities at the end of life; dying in old age; the 'oldest old'; the ageing and dying continuum; concepts of suffering and 'total pain' at the end of life; visual or literary representations of ageing or dying; participatory visual methods.
I am currently supervising 4 PhD studies:
- Death café conversations
- Inequalities in death and dying – dying on the streets in the UK and US
- Examining ‘total pain’ in Palliative Care practice and policy
- Representing chosen death: how writers depict physician-assisted death, and suicide