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Dr Rosemary Cresswell


Rosemary Cresswell is a historian of health and humanitarianism from 1850-2020. She is currently working with the Cultural History of the NHS project, led by Roberta Bivins and Mathew Thomson, and funded by the Wellcome Trust. Rosemary’s first book, Bacteria in Britain, 1880-1939 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013), investigated the use of bacteriology in hospitals, workplaces and local communities, and her PhD on this topic was funded by the AHRC. She is currently writing the History of the British Red Cross, 1870-2020: Health and Humanitarianism, to be published by Bloomsbury. Rosemary has also published research related to the history of nursing.

(Click here for full list of publications.)

Recently-funded projects include: 'Crossing Boundaries: The History of First Aid in Britain and France, 1909-1989', supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with Co-Investigator Barry Doyle.

'Oxfam and the History of War, Health and Humanitarianism', funded by the Wellcome Trust.

'Resilient Humanitarianism: A History of The League of Red Cross Societies, 1919-1991', funded by the Australian Research Council, and led by Melanie Oppenheimer, Flinders University.

‘War, Humanitarianism and the British Red Cross’, University of Oxford Bodleian Libraries Sassoon Visiting Fellowship (2017).

Rosemary has held postdoctoral research roles at the University of Oxford and at King’s College London, a temporary lectureship at Imperial College London, and between 2012 and 2020 was Senior Lecturer in Global History at the University of Hull. Rosemary joined the University of Warwick as a Research Fellow in November 2020. She has formerly published as Rosemary Wall. Rosemary Cresswell is the Chair of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.