Reader in History, Director of Graduate Studies
Location Arts Two 2.32
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2863
I studied history at Lancaster University before going on to Edinburgh to take an MSc in the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.
I returned to Lancaster for my doctoral research on the relationship between psychology and religion in Edwardian Britain.
Before coming to QMUL I held posts at Exeter, East Anglia, Lancaster and University College London.
My work has largely focused on the way that new sciences, such as psychiatry and neurobiology, have reshaped the popular understanding of selfhood in modern Britain.
I’ve published on the history of emotions, neuropsychiatry, prophecy, dreams, demonology, electrophysiology and cybernetics.
My current work, funded by the Wellcome Trust, examines the long history of the happiness agenda and governmental attempts to secure the emotional wellbeing of the population.
Current PhD Students
- Jennifer Adlem – The anxious animal: The development and re-purposing of separation anxiety in the twentieth-century
- Robert Dickins – New spiritualities and domestic life c.1855-1939
- Sarah Drew – Varium et Mutabile Semper Femina: Therapies for the treatment of menstrual mood disorders in the 1930's
- Anne Goad – Managing the Mad: treatment and care of lunatics and idiots in Kent 1808-1875
- Elizabeth Gray – Emotions and Insanity in man and animals - a nineteenth-century Comparative Psychology
- Jane Mackelworth – Meanings of home, love, belonging and selfhood for women in relationships together, 1900-1960, with a key focus on Vera 'Jack' Holme and friends.
- Hannah Mawdsley – A review of the worldwide effects and impact of Spanish Influenza, 1918-1919, based on IWM's medical collections
- Ryan Ross – Gender, Health and Home in Postwar Britain: A Study of the Role of the Home in the Emotional Health of Men, c. 1945-1970
I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:
- History of Psychiatry in 19th and 20th century Britain
- History of the Psychological Sciences in 19th and 20th century Britain
- History of the Emotions and Subjectivity in Modern Britain
- History of Memory
- History of Altered States
- The Transformation of the Psyche in British Primary Care, (London: Bloomsbury, 2014)
- Psychiatry in Modern Britain (London: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2013).
- Resisting History: Popular Religion and the Origins of the Unconscious [Encounters Series] (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007). ISBN: 978-0-7190-7414
- ‘Darwin’s Changing Expression and the Making of the Modern State’ in Angelique Richardson (ed.), Darwin and the Emotions, (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, forthcoming, 2012)
- ‘Psychology and the Pursuit of Serenity in Post War Britain’ in Barbara Taylor and Sally Alexander (eds) Clio’s Dream: Psychoanalysis and History [Global Intellectual Histories Series] (Basingstoke: Palgrave, forthcoming, 2012)
- Sadness in Camberwell: Imagining Stress and Constructing History in Post-War Britain in David Cantor and Edmund Ramsden (eds), Stress, Trauma and Adaptation in the Twentieth Century (Rochester, NY: Rochester University Press, forthcoming 2012)
- ‘Medicine and Mind’, in Mark Jackson (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 524-42
- ‘Making Psychiatry English: The Maudsley Hospital and the Munich Model’, in Volker Roelcke, Paul J. Weindling, Louise Westwood (eds.), International Relations in Psychiatry: Britain, Germany, and the United States through World War II. (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2010), ch. 4
- ‘Enduring Emotions: James Halliday and the Invention of the Psychosocial’, Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 100 [Special Issue on Emotional Economies of Science] (2009): 827-838.
- ‘Desperate Housewives and Model Amoebae: the invention of suburban neurosis in inter-war Britain’ in M. Jackson (ed.), Health and the Modern Home (London: Routledge, 2007): 42-62.
- ‘Recovering R. D. Laing’ Metascience 16 (2007): 525-29.
- ‘From Clever Hans to Michael Balint: Emotion, Influence and the Unconscious in British Medical Practice’ in Fay Bound-Alberti (ed.), Medicine, Emotion and Disease, 1700-1950 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2006): 144-68.
- ‘Mental Illness and Asylums’ in Jay Winter and John Merriman (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Europe, 1914-2004, (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006).
- ‘Grey Walter: Die erotische Neurowissenschaft und die Kybernetik des Gehilfenproblems’, in Cornelius Borck and Armin Schaffer (eds.), Psychographien: Medientechnologie und de Wissenschaften vom Leben (Frankfurt: Diaphanes, 2006): 61-86
- ‘“Much Exaggerated”: The End of the History of Medicine’, [essay review] Journal of Contemporary History 40 (2005): 167-78
- ‘Neurology and the Resurgence of Demonology in Edwardian Britain’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine 78.1 (2004): 37-58. Revised translation to appear as 'Daemonlehre, Neurologie und Medizin in Grossbritannien um 1900' in Nils Freytag & Diethard Sawicki (eds.) Wunderwelten: Religiöse Ekstase und Magie in der Moderne (Goettingen: Vandenhoek and Ruprecht, 2005): 163-80.
- ‘Emmanuel Mendes da Costa: A Case Study in Scientific Reputation’ in Ana Simões, Ana Carneiro, Maria Paula Diogo (eds.), Scientific and Technological Journeys. The viewpoint of the European peripheries, [Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science] (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2003): pp. 101-14
- ‘The Tortoise and the Love-Machine: Grey Walter and the Politics of Electro-encephalography’ Science in Context [Special Issue: ‘Mindful Practices: On the Neurosciences in the Twentieth Century] 14. 4 (Winter 2001): 615-641
- ‘Our Friends Electric’: Mechanical Models of Mind in post-war Britain’, in G. Bunn, A. D. Lovie and G. Richards, eds., Psychology in Britain: Historical Essays and Personal Reflections, (Leicester: British Psychological Society, 2001): 290-308
- ‘The Biopolitics of Arthur Keith and Morley Roberts’ in Anna-K. Mayer and Chris Lawrence (eds.) Regenerating England: Science, Medicine and Culture in Inter-War Britain, [Clio Medica 60], (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000): 251-75
- ‘Policing Dreams: History and the Moral Uses of the Unconscious’, History Workshop Journal 49 (Spring 2000): 143-60. Revised version in D. Pick and L. Roper (eds.) Dreams and History (London: Brunner-Routledge, 2004): 159-77
- ‘From the Millennial Future to the Unconscious Past: Prophecy and Psychology in the Welsh Religious Revival, 1904-5’ in Bertrand Taithe (ed.), The Power of Prophecy (Stroud: Alan Sutton, 1997): 161-80
- Fellow Royal Historical Society
- Council member British Society for the History of Science
- Lecturer, Worshipful Society of Apothecaries
- Reviews Editor, History of the Human Sciences
Membership of professional associations or societies
- Council Member, British Society for the History of Science
- Member, Social History Society
- Member, Society for the Social History of Medicine
- Editorial Board, History of the Human Sciences
- Editor, Bloomsbury Course Companions in the Medical Humanities
- Editorial Board, Clio Medica Perspectives in the Medical Humanities