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Dr Andrew Burchell

Research Fellow, 'Childhood and Speech Therapy in Twentieth-Century Britain' (2019-2021)

Research Fellow, Cultural History of the NHS (2019)

IAS Early Career Fellow & Sessional Tutor, Department of History, University of Warwick (2018-2019)

BA, French and History (2014), MA, History of Medicine (2015), PhD (2019) - University of Warwick 

Research overview

My research explores the intersections of medicine, the social sciences and society through the prism of childhood. My Wellcome Trust-funded PhD thesis explored the place of adolescence in debates over school discipline in twentieth-century Britain, using this to elucidate psychosocial conceptions of adolescence among teachers, psychologists, sociologists and policymakers.

Since 2019, I have been working on a new project, funded by a Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award: Childhood and speech therapy in twentieth-century Britain.

My interest in this topic emerged during my PhD, as speech therapists and local-authority speech therapy services appeared time and again in the local government records that I was consulting. I ground speech therapy's interactions with children through the prisms of class, gender and categories of (dis)ability in relation to stammering. I also explore the impact on speech therapy of its emergence as a distinctly medical profession (from its late-nineteenth-century origins in elocution and voice training) and the rise of activism around the rights of children and adults who stammered after the foundation of the British Stammering Association ('Stamma') in 1978.

I also have a developing interest in the uses of the Mass-Observation Archive as a tool for telling the history of mental health in twentieth-century Britain, inspired by a brief stint on the 'Cultural History of the NHS' project under the supervision of Professor Mathew Thomson and Professor Roberta Bivins.

 Research interests
  • History of speech therapy, elocution and the human voice
  • History of psychology, psychiatry and mental health
  • History of the social sciences
  • Twentieth-century British cultural and social history
  • Childhood and the construction of adolescence

'At the margins of the medical? Educational psychology, child guidance and therapy in provincial England, c.1945-1974', Social History of Medicine, advanced access (forthcoming) [Open Access DOI: 10.1093/shm/hkz097].

In loco parentis, corporal punishment and the moral economy of discipline in English schools, 1945-1986’, Cultural and Social History, 15:4 (2018), pp. 551-570 [Open Access DOI: 10.1080/14780038.2018.1518562].

[Book review] A Progressive Education? How childhood changed in mid-twentieth-century English and Welsh schools by Laura Tisdall [Manchester: MUP, 2019] in Twentieth Century British History, advanced access [DOI: 10.1093/tcbh/hwaa019]

[Book review] Teens and Their Doctors: the story of the development of adolescent medicine by Henry Berman and Hannah Dashefsky [Sagamore Beach, MA: Science History Publications, 2017] in Social History of Medicine, 32:3 (2019), pp. 433-434 [DOI: 10.1093/shm/hkz021]