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Haunting Corporeality: A Cultural History of the Animated Skeleton

The visage of an animated skeleton is an omnipresent theme in the cultural sphere of horror and the Gothic, but scant little attention has been given to this powerful symbol. My research blends literary studies, art history, archaeology, and thanatology to examine how the skeleton operates as a signifier throughout Western literary, visual, and material culture, originating during Medieval Christendom as a moralistic reminder of the afterlife and subsequently becoming a multi-faceted symbol for memorializing grief, disease and community health, class struggles, and ultimately humanity's own relationship with the vastness of time.

Angel Meadow: Origin and persistence of Victorian Manchester's hell on earth slum

Victorian Manchester was the world’s first industrial city – the shock city of its age. It was the first to experience the wealth and horrors that rapid urbanisation could bring. More than 200 years later, cities around the world continue to face unprecedented social, economic and environmental challenges. An estimated one billion people around the world live in slums – a figure the UN says will double by 2030. This study will investigate the origin and persistence of Angel Meadow - one of Victorian Manchester's most notorious slums. It will seek to bring context to recent archaeological excavations of workers' housing in Angel Meadow and add to the wider debate about the formation of modern slums.

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