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Dr Jennifer Crane

photo   Office:
H449, 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 twentieth century Britain. I am passionate about using rigorous research to engage with policymakers, practitioners, charities, and members of the public.

Employment and Education

  • 2016-2018: Public Engagement Research Fellow, 'The Cultural History of the NHS'
    - 2016-2017: Seminar tutor on the undergraduate module, Cultural History of the NHS, and on the Masters-level module, Matters of Life and Death.
  • Autumn-Winter 2015: Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • 2012-2015: PhD in History, University of Warwick
    - Thesis: The Expertise of Experience: Child Abuse and Voluntary Action, 1970-2015, funded by a Wellcome Trust Doctoral Studentship
    - Seminar tutor on Britain in the Twentieth Century: Narrating the Nation and Britain in the 1970s: Between No Society and New Society
  • Spring 2015: Warwick Transatlantic Fellow at Yale University
    - Grant from Humanitites Research Centre to work with researchers in Public Health and History at Yale University.
  • 2011-2012: MA in History (Distinction), University of Warwick
    - Funded by Warwick History Department, wrote thesis entitled: ‘Luggage Label People’: Experiences of Childhood Evacuation, 1939-Present’.
  • 2008-2011: BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (First Class), University of Oxford

Academic Publications

  • 'Painful Times: The Emergence and Campaigning of Parents Against Injustice in 1980s and 1990s Britain', Twentieth Century British History (2015), 26 (3), 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 (2015), 28 (4), 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), 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 have also written popular articles, for example on comedy and the NHS for History Today, and have published numerous public-facing blogs about NHS-related events and research.
    - 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

  •  Co-convenor of the History & Policy Forum on Parenting.
  • 2016 - present: Policy engagement activities around the NHS
    - In September 2017, myself and Jane Hand worked with the King's Fund to organise an event entitled, Understanding the NHS Over Time: Archives, Voices, Policy. This event explored how we can access people's feelings about the NHS over time - through archives, interviews, and online - and the extent to which these can then be translated in to policy.
    - In May 2017, I spoke at an IPPR workshop entitled, 'Devolution and Transformation in the NHS: What Can We Learn from History?'. From this came a joint publication with Professor Roberta Bivins, published by the IPPR, entitled 'What is the N in the NHS?'.
    - In April 2017, I co-convened a policy seminar, Diet and Nutrition in Institutions of Care: History & Policy. Margaret Charleroy and I brought together academic historians with speakers from Food Matters at HMP Wandsworth, the Hospital Caterers Association, the Trussell Trust, the Campaign for Better Hospital Food, Feed Prisoners Better, and the social enterprise Health Exchange. Myself and Margaret co-wrote an article about this event in an article entitled 'We can learn a lot from the (often gruesome) history of food in hospitals and prisons', which was published by The Conversation, Yahoo News, the Metro, and the Independent.
  • 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.