Knowing Your Audience: Reactions to the Human Body, Dead and Undead

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


In order to effectively “speak out” as bioarchaeologists, practitioners must be aware of their audiences, both intended and unintended and academic and public. Audience reactions to and perceptions of bioarchaeological research are shaped in large part by a long and shifting history of cultural perceptions of death and the human body. Further, legislation and public policy in regard to sites of “dark tourism” can affect the translation of research and its interpretation by visitors. This chapter offers a review of public perceptions of the body, both dead and undead, as well as an introduction to the concept of “dark tourism” and the popular media and pop culture’s influence on these perceptions in an effort to equip bioarchaeologists with an augmented awareness of their potential audiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBioarchaeology and Social Theory
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages39
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameBioarchaeology and Social Theory
ISSN (Print)2567-6776
ISSN (Electronic)2567-6814


  • Bioarchaeological audience
  • Corpse porn
  • Display of the body
  • Pop culture
  • Public perceptions of death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Urban Studies


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