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PhDs awarded 2004

Jane Adams

The Mixed Economy for Medical Services in Herefordshire, c.1770-1850

This research project examines five broad areas relating to health care provision in Herefordshire in the period 1770 to 1850 and uses these to critically examine current historiographical debates in the social history of medicine. It draws on diverse primary sources and the rich secondary material covering social and political history and local studies in addition to medical history.

The topics covered are the establishment and operation of the General Infirmary, changes in the provision of care for the insane, the development of the medical profession, the medical care provided under old and new poor law arrangements and by charitable organisations, and the development of a public health infrastructure. The study is based on the premise that health care systems and medical institutions are an integral part of any local society, and that an analysis of the ways they operate illuminates the nature of that local society. The central focus of the study is an examination of the social and political dynamics that influenced the shape of health care provision within the context of a changing provincial setting.

Supervisors: Professor Hilary Marland and Dr Sarah Richardson

Vicky Long

Changing Public Representations of Mental Illness in Britain, 1870-1970

My PhD examines public representations of mental illness in England from 1870 to 1970. I have focused my research on public groups directly involved in the care of the mentally ill - psychiatric social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists and the Mental After Care Association, a charitable organisation established to assist former asylum patients in returning to society and the workforce. These groups occupied boundary positions and can be seen as mediating between the state care of the mentally ill, the mental patient, and the general public, transmitting ideas between the state and the public. Acting on different agendas, these groups competed to define mental illness and its treatment in public spaces and the media. My project also examines the perspectives of the mentally disordered through their writing and the representations of mental disorder in the media to assess what impact the organisations I have studied had on public representations of mental illness in this period.

Supervisor: Professor Hilary Marland and Dr Mathew Thomson

Cathy McClive

Bleeding Flowers and Waning Moons: A History of Menstruation in France, c.1495-1761

The study of concepts of menstruation offers insight into medical and lay knowledge of the female body in the early modern period. I am analysing a wide range of sources, from Latin and vernacular medical texts, to judicial records and personal memoirs and correspondence. I am particularly interested in the embodiment of time and notions of sexual difference.

Supervisors: Professor Colin Jones, Professor Hilary Marland, Dr Penny Roberts