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.
The London launch of the Warwick-BL AHRC-funded project "Africa’s Sons Under Arms" was held at the British Library on January 20th. The project team [David Lambert and Tim Lockley from Warwick, Phil Hatfield and Beth Cooper from the British Library, together with graduate students Melissa Bennett and Rosalyn Narayan] outlined the various research-focused components as well as plans for wider public engagement. Attendees included the Jamaican ambassador, community organisations with an interest in the Caribbean, academics and students from a number of different universities, and British Library staff. There was widespread enthusiasm for the project, and it became apparent that there were a number of potentially exciting avenues for future collaboration that the project team will follow up on.
The Warwick University History Department seeks to appoint a one-year full-time postdoctoral Research Fellow as part of the Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award, ‘The Cultural History of the NHS’, a collaborative project between Principal Investigators Roberta Bivins and Mathew Thomson of the Warwick History Department.
The full advert and job description are now available, with a closing date for applications of 15th February 2015 and interviews to take place in the last week of February 2015.
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