Death, Birth and a Few Other Significant Concerns
  • Lecture Theatre 1, Peninsula Allied Health Centre, Derriford Road, Plymouth (North campus)

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The School of Health Professions and the IHC are pleased to invite you to their March lecture entitled ‘Death, birth and a few other significant concerns: Some auto/biographical concerns’ by Professor Gayle Letherby, Honorary Professor of Sociology, Plymouth University.

Gayle says, "In my first solo-authored academic publication I reported on my final undergraduate project which was concerned with women’s meanings and experience of miscarriage. This project and my doctoral research on ‘infertility’ and ‘involuntary childlessness’ (written in single quotation marks to highlight problems of definition) was at least partly motivated by my own experience. In the 23 years since The Meanings of Miscarriage was published my writing and research has included (but has not been exclusive to) the following issues: teenage pregnancy and young parenthood; reproductive identity and experience complicated by long term conditions; loss, bereavement and creativity. In this presentation I reflect on some of this work with particular reference to auto/biographical concerns such as researcher subjectivity; insider and outsider identities; intellectual challenge and opportunity and academic risk and reputation."


Following ten years as a Nursery Nurse Gayle returned to (higher) education in the late 1980s to study Sociology. Between 1994 and 2015 she worked as a full-time academic, first at Coventry University and then at Plymouth University. She is currently an Honorary Professor of Sociology at Plymouth University and combines freelance academic activities with her work as a Civil Celebrant ( . Her academic research and writing interests embrace all things methodological (including feminist, auto/biographical and creative approaches); reproductive and non/parental identities; gender, health and wellbeing; loss and bereavement; travel and transport mobility and working and learning in higher education. Most recent publications include Letherby, Gayle (2014) He, Himself and I: reflections on inter/connected lives Oxford: Clio Press and Letherby, Gayle (2015) ‘Bathwater, Babies and Other Losses: A Personal and Academic Story’ Mortality: Promoting the interdisciplinary study of death and dying 20 (2).

This lecture is part of the School of Health Professions Lecture Series, co-hosted by the Institute of Health and Community. 

Everybody is welcome to attend this free lecture. Please book your place via the above link.

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