I joined the School in 2013. As a history undergraduate at the University of York I became interested in the history of sexuality and history of medicine. I came to Queen Mary’s Centre for the History of Emotions for my doctoral research on the history of ‘attempted suicide as a cry for help’ in 20th century British psychiatry.
My overarching research interest is in the history of psychiatry, psychology and other sciences of the mind – specifically how these relate to contemporary identity and selfhood. I am especially interested in the relationships between social science and medicine more generally – how ideas of ‘the social setting’, ‘social environment’ and ‘social stresses’ become central in psychology and psychiatry. This ‘social setting’ is currently being displaced by increasingly reductive biological and neurological visions of human nature and behaviour.
My current research focuses on Munchausen syndromes – faking illness, or inducing it in others, in order to adopt ‘the sick role’.