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- United Kingdom
- Birkbeck, University of London
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- Race, gender, sexuality, sexual violence, child welfare, history of medicine, popular culture, oral history
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- About Me
I am a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London (2018-22) working with the Wellcome Trust-funded Sexual Harms, Medicine and Medical Encounters Research hub (see website: shame.bbk.ac.uk). My current research focuses on the ways community-based nurses, doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists have responded to (or ignored) the possibility that a child is being sexually abused by a family member since the 1960s in the UK and the US. How have their emotions, thoughts, behaviours and clinical practices changed over time? The aim is to bring a historical perspective to a problem that is often seen only in a particular cultural moment through archival research and collecting oral histories from current and retired community health practitioners.
I also lead an oral history project which involved interviews with Irish women or those who are part of the diaspora to examine how their lives and attitudes evolved during each decade of the twentieth century. The project is staffed by volunteers and is ongoing. See website: https://unaganaguna.org/ for further information.
I trained as an applied researcher in the social sciences and worked from the 1990s until 2018 in children’s services in policy, strategy, commissioning and leadership roles.
During that time, my PhD (2015) investigated the activism of African American poet and literary critic Sterling A. Brown. Although he was a celebrated poet and literary critic, he turned away from his creative aspirations in the 1930s and involved himself in a range of projects in the social sciences – in folklore, in black history and the Federal Writers’ Project, in the Carnegie Myrdal ‘Study of the American Negro,’ and in ethnographic journalism. The thesis explored the challenges faced by black intellectuals and civil rights activists in mid twentieth century America through Brown’s alliances with white intellectuals. It exposed the commonalities and the fractures, alongside the progress and the misunderstandings between intellectuals across the racial divide.
- Recent Publications
- Media Coverage
- Country Focus
- Expertise by Geography
- Ireland, United Kingdom, United States
- Expertise by Chronology
- Modern, 20th century, 21st century
- Expertise by Topic
- Children & Youth, Family, Gender, Medicine, Public History, Race, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Women