Dr Naomi Richards
- Senior Lecturer (School of Social & Environmental Sustainability)
- Associate (School of Health & Wellbeing)
Dr Naomi Richards is Director of the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group at the University of Glasgow.
Naomi is a Senior Lecturer in Social Science at the University of Glasgow. Prior to joining Glasgow in 2015, she held positions at the University of the West of Scotland (2014-2015) and the University of Sheffield (2009-2014). She has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh.
Naomi specialises in death and dying, ageing and old age, and visual and ethnographic methods. Over the last decade she has been funded by the ESRC to undertake empirical and theoretical investigations into the UK right-to-die debate and the phenomenon of old age rational suicide. She is currently Principal Investigator for the ESRC funded Dying in the Margins (2019-2023), a qualitative project aiming to uncover the reasons for unequal access to home dying for people experiencing socio-economic deprivation. She has also been involved in two Wellcome Trust funded case studies (2018-20). The first examined the relationship between palliative care and assisted dying in three jurisdictions where assisted dying is lawful. The second examined the global transfer and translation of the Death Café phenomenon.
Over the years, Naomi has collaborated on research projects about: challenging stereotypes of older women; transitions to palliative care in the hospital setting; transitioning out of hospital back home or into a care home; and sensory and palliative care approaches for people with advanced dementia.
She has a long-standing interest in documentary filmmaking and participatory visual methods, stemming from a Masters in Visual Anthropology at the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester
Naomi also co-convenes the Reading and Writing Death and Dying Arts Lab with Dr Elizabeth Reeder in Creative Writing and former PhD student Dr Amy Shea. The Arts Lab aims to support and encourage writers from all genres and working in all forms to produce work on the theme of death, dying and bereavement. In November 2021, the team won a Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network Grant: COVID 19 as Catalyst for Writing and Discussing Death, Dying and Grief through Objects, Diaries and Collective Archives (2022-24). The aim of the Network is to support writers in Scotland to produce work on this theme. You can follow the work of the Arts Lab on Twitter - @DeathWrites1
- 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
Royal Society of Edinburgh, Research Network Grant: COVID-19 as Catalyst for Writing and Discussing Death, Dying and Grief through Objects, Diaries and Collective Archives (2022-2024)
ESRC Large Grant: Dying in the Margins: Uncovering the Reasons for Unequal Access to Home Dying for the Socio-Economically Deprived (2019-2023)( ES/S014373/1)
ESRC-Impact Acceleration Award: Exploring the language of poverty and inequality at the end of life, with a frontline engagement network (2021-2022)
ESRC (3+1) PhD Scholarship (Quota Award)
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; socio-economic inequities at the end of life; dying in old age; the 'oldest old'; old age rational suicide; 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 6 PhD studies:
- Zibaite, Solveiga
- Talking about talking about death: an ethnographic study of Death Cafés in the UK using neo-tribal theory
- Morris, Claire
- Examining ‘total pain’ in palliative care practice and policy
- Foulkes, Carrie (DFA in Creative Writing)
- Renunciation Exercises: An interdisciplinary research project exploring narratives of illness and bereavement
- Walden, Ian (University of Falmouth)
- A good death: Creating discursivity around old age rational suicide through design
In 2021-22, I am convening two courses on the MSc in End of Life Studies Programme:
- I discuss end of life issues with journalists, including at The Economist, BBC TV, BBC Radio, STV Scotland Tonight (2 Dec 2021), and have written opinion pieces in the press on COVID-19 and end of life inequities and Death Café.
- I organise the End of Life Studies blog which has 4000 subscribers and global reach.
- I organise a Public and Patient Involvement Group on End of Life and Palliative Care at the Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary
- I review grant applications for various funding bodies: ESRC; ERC; NSF and Israel Science Foundation.