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The first session of ‘A Vibrant Death Reading Group’ took place on 31 May at the MERIAN Art & Science Lab at UCM in Maastricht. Anyone interested in joining the second session is welcome on Friday 28 June 15:00-17:00 at the MERIAN lab. More details below.

How do we read together a book about death and mourning?

In this reading group, we read together extracts from Vibrant Death. A Posthuman Phenomenology of Mourning (Bloomsbury 2022) by Nina Lykke (Distinguished Professor, Gender Studies, Linköping University). The book chronicles the author’s personal journey through mourning after the loss of her queer life partner, and into understanding the transformative force of death to shift human life into the inhuman.

In the second installment of the reading group, we read excerpts from the book’s 3rd Chapter dedicated to the process of passing the threshold between life and death and to the vibrancy of the human corpse.
Our guest is curator, writer, and death doula Staci Bu Shea (they / them). Staci often writes, teaches, collaborates, and facilitates workshops around care, accessibility, meaning-making and collective practice in different contexts. Their forthcoming book Dying Livingly will be published in 2024 by Sternberg. They were curator at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons (Utrecht, 2017-2022), and co-curated Barbara Hammer: Evidentiary Bodies at Leslie Lohman Museum of Art (New York City, 2017).(

Several colourful soft sculptures created by artist Maike Hemmers are available in the space to provide support and enhance the reading experience. (

Attendance is free, English language. No preparation needed, the texts will be shared during each session in a Reader distributed to the participants. The group is convened by Valentina Curandi (Ph.D. MERIAN candidate). Limited space available, registration required at

Accessibility: The Art-Science Lab of University College Maastricht (UCM) in Heksenstraat 8, Maastricht is located on the ground floor. Entrance via a paved path in the garden.

This is an initiative supported by Universiteitsfonds Limburg SWOL and MERIAN Maastricht Experimental Research In and through the Arts Network.

Universiteitsfonds LImbug SWOL