Dr Roberta Bivins and Dr Mathew Thomson have secured Senior Investigator Awards and over £1m of funding from the Wellcome Trust to support a five-year programme of research on the cultural history of the National Health Service.
Based in Warwick History Department’s Centre for the History of Medicine, ‘The Cultural History of the NHS’ (http://warwick.ac.uk/nhshistory) will investigate the changing meaning of the NHS for the British people since its opening in 1948. Conservative politician Nigel Lawson famously remarked in the 1980s that the NHS was the closest thing the English people now had to a religion, and assumptions about the meaning of the NHS remain hugely influential in public debate. In a climate in which the future of the NHS is a matter of daily speculation and as we approach a natural point of reflection with the 70th anniversary in 2018, the research will provide us with the first major study of how our beliefs about the NHS really did evolve over this period.
The research will analyse public opinion, cultural representation in literature, film and television, and the role of the NHS itself and those who worked within it in the construction of meaning. We will also ask whether and how the NHS operated as a cultural force in Britain, for instance by encouraging or discouraging the integration of various populations – the elderly, the disabled, migrants – into wider cultures of community health. A further key element of the project will be working with communities and individuals to uncover a hidden history of belief, meaning, and feeling, and in retrieving artefacts and stories to bring this story to life in a web-based ‘people’s history of the NHS’.
Congratulations are due to PhD student John Morgan, who has been awarded the Marion Madison Young Scholar's Prize for an essay on 'counterfeit Egyptians' he wrote whilst studying for his MA.
Following the sad passing of Emeritus Professor Gwynne Lewis in December 2014, The Guardian has published his obituary as written by former members of staff Professor Colin Jones and Emeritus Professor Robin Okey.
The Director of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce that the Department will be offering a number of full-time doctoral studentships and MA bursaries to outstanding candidates applying for Autumn 2015-16 admission. The awards will be available to both Home-EU and overseas applicants applying to study full-time. In order to be considered, candidates need to have submitted an online University admission application by 12 January 2015.
Further details of both types of award can be found at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/history/applying/pgadmissions/pgfunding
An exciting new arts project has been created by The University of Warwick. ‘Growing Well: a recent history of growing your own’ by PhD student Sophie Greenway will go up on display at University Hospital in Coventry at the end of November as part of an ongoing partnership with the Hospital’s Healing Arts Programme.
‘Growing Well’ tells the story of food growing in Coventry over the twentieth century, including ‘Dig for Victory’ during the Second World War, an experimental housing project that was to include organic growing on site, an attempt to repackage allotments as leisure gardens, and the establishment of the famous organic gardens at Ryton, now called Garden Organic. Visitors can also learn what UHCW is doing to promote healthy eating and the outdoors, including the Hospital’s award-winning Jubilee Nature Reserve.
On Tuesday 25th November between 10am and 1pm there will be an event held in University Hospital’s Outpatients department to celebrate the new exhibit and promote growing and eating well in Coventry and Warwickshire. To find out more and add your own memories to the project visit www.growingwelluhcw.wordpress.com.
Sophie Greenway is a PhD student at the Centre for the History of Medicine, and has also worked as a history teacher and museum curator. Sophie’s project, entitled ‘Growing well: Dirt, health and the home gardener in Britain 1900-1970’ explores links between the environment and health in the context of domestic vegetable growing. She investigates the historical reasons why some people prefer to buy polished carrots, whilst others regard the muddy ones from a local veg box as more healthy.
The Healing Arts Programme at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust compliments patient care and welfare through a diverse range of activities, including visual and performing arts. The programme is funded by UHCW Charity and helps soften the hospital with quirky art exhibitions, creative workshops in ward dayrooms and music. For more information visit www.uhcwcharity.org/art.
Sophie can be contacted in the following ways:
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