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Dr Jennifer Crane

photo   Office:
H448a, fourth floor of the Humanities Building Extension
024 76573938, internal extension 73938

I am a social and cultural historian of medicine interested in activism and voluntary action, social policy construction, health, expertise, experience, and childhood in modern Britain. I am passionate 'critical history', and thinking about how best to use rigorous research to engage with policymakers, practitioners, charities, and publics.

I have published in Social History of Medicine, Twentieth Century British History, and Endeavour, and I have a forthcoming monograph. In terms of popular work, I co-lead the public engagement for the major Wellcome Trust project, the People's History of the NHS. I have also written for History Today, the Independent, the British Medical Journal, and the IPPR, and have appeared on the television programme Sunday Brunch. I worked for three months in the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology, and am a co-convenor of the History & Policy Forum on Parenting.

My research and engagement interests inform my teaching. I have supervised, lectured, and taught at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, fostering engaged and interdisciplinary work.



Academic Publications

  • Child Protection in England: Expertise, Experience, and Emotion (manuscript accepted and with production team @ Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2018).
  • 'Why the History of Public Consultation Matters for Contemporary Health Reform', Endeavour 42 (1) (2018), pp. 9-16.
  • 'Painful Times: The Emergence and Campaigning of Parents Against Injustice in 1980s and 1990s Britain', Twentieth Century British History 26 (3) (2015), pp. 450-476.
  • ''The bones tell a story the child is too young or too frightened to tell': The Battered Child Syndrome in Post-war Britain and America', Social History of Medicine 28 (4) (2015), pp. 767-788.
  • Review of 'The Changing Faces of Childhood Cancer: Clinical and Cultural Visions since 1940' by Emm Barnes Johnstone with Joanna Baines, Medical History, 60 (3) (2016), pp. 424-5.
  • 'Review of 'The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers' by Joanna Bourke', Reviews in History, 25 September 2014.

Public Engagement

  • 2016-2018: Co-ordinate public engagement activities for the Cultural History of the NHS project
    - I have organised events and exhibitions with hospitals, museums, retirement homes, patient groups, and campaigners (see link for full details of past and future events). These events are carefully designed to enrich the research aims and outputs of ourselves and the five other members of our project team. We look to hold events across the UK, and which will attract and interest a diverse range of individuals and communities. I also advise and support other team members to facilitate their own events, to fit within our broader programme. I am interested in thinking methodologically about engaged research, and have co-authored a Working Knowledge piece on this topic.
    - I have also written popular articles, for example on comedy and the NHS for History Today, have published numerous public-facing blogs about NHS-related events and research, and have discussed this project on BBC Radio Sheffield.
    - I am particularly interested in digital engagement. I maintain our public-facing project website, and invite members of the public to contribute their memories and to write us blogs. I also organised an 'NHS Editathon' with the Wikimedian-in-Residence at the Wellcome Trust, Dr Alice White, in November 2016.
  • 2013-2014: Assistant Research Volunteer for two plays, 'Trade in Lunacy' and 'A Malady of Migration', which explored mental health and migration in the 18th and 19th centuries. I conducted research to guide the script, and wrote accessible pieces about this research for audiences members.
  • 2013-2014: Community interviewer for the oral history project 'Voices of the University: Memories of Warwick 1965-2015'.

Policy Engagement

  • 2015 - 2016: Co-convenor, 30 Years of ChildLine: A Witness Seminar, 1 June 2016
    - Looking to reflect on the history of ChildLine, and its significance for the future of children's health, policy, and services, Eve Colpus and I were joined by speakers including Dame Esther Rantzen (founder of ChildLine), Anne Longfield (Children's Commissioner), David Brindle (Guardian), Colin Butler (ChildLine), Sue Minto (NSPCC), Professor Mathew Thomson (University of Warwick), and the Rt. Hon. Shaun Woodward.
    - The event was subsequently covered in the Guardian; and also, by Eve and I on a blog for History & Policy, and in an article for the The Conversation, the Independent, and Schools Improvement. We also co-wrote a policy briefing, which was circulated to participants and stakeholders.
    - Funded by the Wellcome Trust and the University of Southampton.