PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Richard Vytniorgu

7 May 2021


I’m a specialist in women’s writing and twentieth-century literature, culture, and pedagogy, but I am also interested in contemporary gay writing, film, and visual culture (including erotica). I completed my undergraduate degree in History and Sociology at Exeter, before moving to Leeds to do an MA in Victorian Studies. I then spent six years in the Midlands, first completing my AHRC-funded PhD in English Literature at De Montfort University (Midlands3Cities) and then taking up a number of posts related to research impact and knowledge exchange. In 2019 I joined Nottingham as an Impact Research Fellow, working primarily on an AHRC-funded project to do with narratives of eating disorders in men. At the same time I had a small Wellcome-funded post-doc at Nottingham, part of which enabled me to begin my work on gender and belonging, focusing here especially on food studies.

Highlights of career to date:

In 2019 I published my first monograph, The Butterfly Hatch: Literary Experience in the Quest for Wisdom–Uncanonically Seating H.D., which was on the modernist writer Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) (1886-1961) and the educational theorist Louise Rosenblatt (1904-2005). In this book (based on my PhD) I explored how aesthetic experience of literature, especially of the past, can lead to exploration of issues usually associated with wisdom. This work challenged prevailing approaches to literature as pseudo-history and argued for the importance of an experiential engagement with literature and its personalising potential.

In 2020 I was also proud to be part of an engaged research project funded by the AHRC, creating an animated training toolkit about eating disorders in men. This work introduced me to engaged research while also deepening my understanding of masculinity studies (as opposed to my previous focus on women’s writing).

Over the years I have also thoroughly enjoyed writing journalism for a range of platforms, including The Independent, The Conversation, and Queer Voices. As of 2020 I am also a book reviewer for The Lady magazine.

Research I will be undertaking at the Centre:

At WCCEH I am primarily working on two related projects to do with loneliness (and, from my perspective, the experience of belonging as well). The first, collaborating with Charlotte Jones and writer Natalie McGrath, explores histories of LGBTQIA+ experiences of loneliness, and the second project continues work begun by Fred Cooper and Charlotte Jones on experiences of loneliness at university.

I am also working on a new monograph exploring the relationship between place and gay male effeminacy in contemporary European film and erotica. I am interested in the ways in which effeminate gay boys and men, who typically experience more marginalization and stigma compared to ‘straight-acting’ or gender-conforming gay men, negotiate effeminophobia (as opposed to homophobia). I am particularly looking at how such boys and men create ways to belong with their gender atypicality–in their bodies, at home, school, nationally, and online. The book synthesises approaches from the life sciences, social sciences, and literary studies, but foregrounds film and gay porn (visual and written) as an arts-based lens through which to explore these broader themes.

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Arthur Rose

19 January 2021


I am interested in how literary cultural studies can help us to unpack some of our assumptions in the modern world. This has led me in different directions, from authorship debates in late modernism to coal mining in the Naturalist novel, but all with the aim of figuring out how literary culture can help us understand about ourselves and our environments. For the past five years, I have focused in how this understanding might affect our political engagement with health and the environment: how, for instance, breath works so well as a rhetorical figure in political movements because it so immediately raises the conditions of embodied situation in the world, or how asbestos, already implicated in the conspiracies of the companies that mined and manufactured it, comes to work so well as container for other forms of “fake news.”

Highlights of career to date

I spent some years as a postdoctoral research fellow on the Life of Breath project, based at Durham and Bristol, which was a wonderful opportunity to work with anthropologists, clinicians, historians, public health experts and many, many others. Together, we were able to bring together more theoretical approaches to medicine and the humanities, and think of ways of intervening in the critical medical humanities and in applied respiratory care.

Research I will be undertaking in the Centre

I work on the Scenes of Shame and Stigma in COVID-19 project, which considers how UK responses to the pandemic were shaped by shame prone interventions. Taking a cultural-historical approach to the first year of the pandemic, the project advances recommendations for more shame sensitive policies in this and future crises. Some the initial thinking of this project can be found here. I’ll also be collaborating with Professor Luna Dolezal, Dr Matthew Gibson (Birmingham) and Dr Barry Lyons (Dublin) on their Shame and Medicine Project.

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Olly Clabburn

10 August 2020

My research interests lie broadly within the field of health, care and well being. As such, I have specific interest in holistic care, family carers, terminal illness, palliative care and bereavement. My PhD research synthesised these interests through investigating the use of digital legacies (video recordings) with people affected by motor neurone disease.

As a qualitative researcher, I have worked on a variety of projects such as developing tools for patients and carers living with motor neurone disease, exploring primary school teachers experiences of food poverty, medical education, social worker mental health, and also service evaluations.

Being a Fellow of the HEA, I have lectured on a variety of health and social care modules, and also led modules focussed upon qualitative research methods.

I am now working as a research associate  at WCCEH on two projects.

The first is in collaboration with We Hear You and is investigating the experiences of how cancer affects couples, and importantly,  the impact of counselling  as a means of psychosocial support for adult relationships. The Lockdown Blues is the second project which is centered upon developing an online scrapbook of people’s experiences of loneliness and isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Simon Benham-Clarke

7 May 2020


I graduated from Bristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England) with a BSc (Hons) in Systems Design. This led on to a career with Dell Computer Corporation. After 13 years my wife and I decided to relocate with our young family from Surrey to North Devon. I then became a househusband, father and volunteer helping community and citizen groups. Due to a fascination with my children’s development and involvement with the educational settings they attended, as well as my learning from a BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, the importance of education to support well-being throughout the life course was made acutely clear to me. To make an educational contribution I achieved a Certificate in Education at Petroc College of FE and HE and taught a variety of courses and performed personal tutor roles.

To learn more about research in this field I completed an MSc in Educational Research in 2018 at the University of Exeter which has resulted in me being a researcher based in the College of Medicine and Health, but also collaborating with the Graduate School of Education and the Law School.

My broad research interests lie in the promotion of well-being and the prevention and mitigation of mental health difficulties, inequalities and exclusion in society.

Highlights of my research career to date
In my first year as a researcher I am delighted to have worked with many fine scholars and researchers across the University to contribute to the understanding and knowledge of; behaviour management in schools through a systematic literature review for the Education Endowment Foundation; access to HE for disadvantaged groups for the University of Exeter Centre for Social Mobility and Communications, Admissions & Marketing Services; lesson study and related practices for SEN education for the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education; agonism as a framework to navigate tensions in education for the University of Exeter Graduate School of Education. Also to have supported elements of PPI and website design and content development in the National Institute for Health Research funded Children and Adolescents with ADHD in Transition between Children’s and Adult Services (CATCh-uS) research project and data collection for the ERASMUS+ Supporting Practices for Inclusive Schooling & Education for the Youth (SPISEY) project.

The research I will be undertaking in the Centre
Transforming relationships and relationship transitions with and for the next generation.

Something about me you can’t Google!
After listening to David Gower do a talk, he asked my wife and I out for a drink.

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Daniele Carrieri

17 July 2019

Daniele is a Research Fellow working on: ‘Care Under Pressure: a realist review of interventions to tackle doctors’ mental ill-health and its impacts on the clinical workforce and patient care’.

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Michael Flexer

30 May 2019

I am the the publicly engaged research fellow working on the Wellcome-funded ‘Waiting Times’ project.

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Martin Moore

30 May 2019

My work in the centre

I work on the Wellcome-Trust funded project “Waiting Times“, led by Laura Salisbury and Lisa Baraitser. The project is an interdisciplinary exploration of waiting in and for healthcare, asking what it means to wait “now”.

As part of this project, I am writing a history of time and waiting in British general practice under the National Health Service. My work asks how major transformations in the economics, political dynamics and cultural promises of medicine since 1948 have affected the ways that patients and professionals conceptualised, managed and experienced time and forms of suspended temporality in primary care. In so doing, this research complicates existing narratives of the period as characterised predominantly by a growing sense “time pressure”, or an economisation discourse in which time is seen as a limited resource requiring efficient allocation. Instead, it explores the historical plurality of time and temporality in post-war general practice, and articulates the diverse historical meanings associated with waiting for, and in, twentieth century healthcare. For some early thoughts on this work, see here.

From September 2020 I will be a Lecturer in the Centre, researching histories of commuting and wellbeing in post-war Britain. Provisionally titled Commuting Britain, this work will examine how anxieties around commuting’s effects on social and individual wellbeing developed in medical and public discourse between 1945 and the early 2000s, placing such concerns in conversation with the ways that commuters experienced and used their commute as part of their everyday life. It will, I hope, generate new insight into how commuters responded to the changing shape of Britain’s post-war urban environments, and explore how they worked creatively with the time and space of daily travel to address the perceived pathological effects of the city itself.

Academic bio

I gained my PhD in the History of Medicine from the University of Warwick in 2014, writing a thesis on the history of diabetes management in twentieth-century Britain. Following this, I joined the University of Exeter to work with Mark Jackson on his Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award, “Lifestyle, health and disease: changing concepts of balance in modern medicine”. My work here traced the shifting models of physiological and emotional balance in diabetes management, and examined the ways in which the pursuit of balance in clinical practice and everyday life both produced – and was in turn remade by – new forms of subjectivity, regulation and social relations. See below for publications.

Something about me you can’t Google (though other search engines are available)

I suffer from a touch of the “Swanson’s” when it comes to the information super-highway, so this is a rather large field… I once mistakenly paid €60 for a melon. And I didn’t even get to eat it. (Thankfully, I have no financial responsibilities for the Waiting Times grant.)




Managing Diabetes, Managing Medicine: Chronic Disease and Clinical Bureaucracy in Post-War Britain, (Manchester University Press, 2019). [Available here] [And here Open Access]

Balancing the Self: Medicine, Politics and the Regulation of Health in the Twentieth Century, edited with Mark Jackson, (Manchester University Press, 2020). [Available here] [And here Open Access]


Articles and Book Chapters

‘Harnessing the Power of Difference: Colonialism and British Chronic Disease Research, 1940-1975’, Social History of Medicine, 29:2, (2016), 384-404. [Available here]

‘Reorganising Chronic Disease Management: Diabetes and Bureaucratic Technologies in Post-War British General Practice’, in Mark Jackson (ed), The Routledge History of Disease, (Routledge, 2017). [See here]

‘Food as Medicine: Diet and Diabetes Management in Twentieth Century Britain’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 73:2, (2018), 150-67. [Available here]

‘Balance and the “good diabetic” in Britain, c.1900-1960’, in Mark Jackson and Martin D. Moore (eds.), Balancing the Self: Medicine, Politics and the Regulation of Health in the Twentieth Century, edited with Mark Jackson, (Manchester University Press, 2020). [Available here]

‘Historicising “containment and delay”: COVID-19, the NHS and high-risk patients’, Wellcome Open Research, 5:130 (2020) “Waiting in Pandemic Times” Collection. [Available here]

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Amy Jones

15 May 2019


I began my academic journey in 2006, when I studied Sociology and History at undergraduate level, and attained a First Class Honours degree. Following this, I went on to study a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with Masters, training as a secondary school and post-16 History teacher. In 2012, I completed a Masters of Research degree course at Keele University (with Distinction), and subsequently went on to study for a PhD. My research focusessed on the ways in which neoliberalism and the economic recession have affected older people living in a deprived area in Stoke-on-Trent. In October 2018, I became a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Wellcome Centre, working with the Transforming Engagement project.

Highlights of my career to date

– Head of Access Sociology at Newcastle-Under-Lyme College from 2011-2015 and achieved five consecutive grade one observations, including two from Ofsted. The students achieved some of the highest grades in the country.

– Taught various modules to undergraduates at Keele University, such as ‘Sociological Research Methods’, ‘Mediated World’ and ‘Analysing Culture’. Nominated for an ‘Excellent Teaching Award’ in 2016.

– Designed the Sociology undergraduate degree course for Arden University and subsequently became Module Leader for five modules from Level 4 to Level 6, including ‘Introduction to Sociology’, ‘Medicalisation of the Self’, ‘Inequalities in the Modern World’, ‘Consumer Society and the Commodification of Beings’ and ‘Insecurity and Precariousness in the Globalised World’.

– Social Science Editor for the journal Under Construction from 2015-2018.

The research I will be undertaking in the Centre

I am part of a research team looking to unearth the ways in which transformative engagement affects  relations between local residents and service providers, and health and well-being, in the low-income area of Stoke-on-Trent. Drawing from the principles of C2 (Connecting Communities) and complexity theory, the aim of this research is to measure (both quantitatively and qualitatively) the extent to which people in areas of deprivation experience feelings of isolation and loneliness, and identify ways to overcome these through community-led initiatives, which will serve to strengthen social bonds, increase access to services and resources, and release the potential in communities. This research ultimately seeks to overcome some of the structural inequalities prevalent in low socio-economic areas, enhance levels of social capital and contribute to improved health and well-being.

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Fred Cooper

15 May 2019

I am a research fellow in evidence-based policy, supported by the Strategic Priorities Fund. I am also the lead academic on the Centre’s Beacon project on loneliness, which includes my colleagues Charlotte Jones, Manuela Barreto, and Mark Jackson.

I am also a historian of medicine with interests in loneliness, solitude, alienation, exclusion, culture, gender, the social and psy sciences, and public health. Completed in 2018, my PhD explored the interplay between psychiatric and feminist discourses on women’s care and labour in post-war Britain, as part of the Wellcome-funded project Lifestyle, Health and Disease: Changing Concepts of Balance in Modern Medicine. My current historical research centres on the recent history of loneliness as an object of medical concern.

Current projects:

With Charlotte Jones, I co-founded a student lived experience group on loneliness in 2019. We are now part-way through a creative journalling project on loneliness and Covid-19.

I am leading a policy report for the WHO Regional Office for Europe on the cultural contexts of youth loneliness.

I am a co-investigator on the research project Caring Through Coronavirus, led by Siobhan O’Dwyer at the University of Exeter Medical School.

With Charlotte Jones, Olly Clabburn, Devon Libraries and Exeter Phoenix, I am in the process of developing a UNESCO-funded repository for reflections on isolation in lockdown in Devon and Exeter.

With the playwright Natalie McGrath and Exeter’s Northcott Theatre, I am collaborating on an an original theatre performance, drawing in part on creative exchanges with Centre researchers and LGBTQ+ people with lived experiences of loneliness and isolation.

Recent posts:

Covid-19 and the Loneliness Crisis (Pathologies of Solitude, QMUL).

The post-war adverts that tried to cure lonely women (Wellcome Collection).

Please feel free to get in touch if there’s anything you’d like to talk about.

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Charlotte Jones

15 May 2019


I received my PhD on the theorisation and medicalisation of sex in 2016 from the Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield. This work explored personal experiences and broader social conceptualisations of intersex and variations in sex characteristics in the UK, with a focus on relationships and recognition.

Prior to joining the University of Exeter, I was Research Fellow at the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh (2018-2019). I continue to work in collaboration with Dr Ingrid Young and other colleagues at Edinburgh’s Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society on the relationship between sexuality, activism and biological citizenship in the context of HIV PrEP provision in the UK. Before moving to Edinburgh, I worked on the EU-funded Universities Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence (USVReact) project at Brunel University (2016-2018), which researched, developed, and evaluated new education programmes for university staff who may respond to disclosures of sexual violence. I was also Research Fellow on a series of AHRC-funded projects known collectively as Around the Toilet (2015-2018), a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam as well as numerous other contributors, artists, and organisations. This work, led by Dr Jen Slater, critically examined the notion of (in)accessibility by considering gender and disability in the context of the toilet, and won the NCPPE Engage Award in the Arts, Humanities and Social Science category in 2016.

Since 2019, I’ve been a member of the Editorial board for The Sociological Review. In 2021, I worked with colleagues to develop the Queer Disability Studies Network, an international collaboration between students, academics, and activists focusing on issues at the intersections of queer/trans and disability/crip studies.

Research Interests

My main research interests lie in gender, sexuality, disability and health, and particularly the intersections of these areas. My work responds to wider debates within feminist theory, biopolitics, queer theory and critical disability studies, exploring the regulative concepts of ‘normal’ morphology, identities and behaviour and the ways in which these models shape our understanding of what kinds of lives and bodies can be considered viable, permissible and desirable.

I’m leading three new projects at the Wellcome Centre: one exploring new ways of thinking about (in)fertility, sex, and the life course (Reprofutures); a second addressing the impact of new hygiene measures on workers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic (Beers, Burgers + Bleach); and a third engagment project on LGBTQIA loneliness (The Beat of Our Hearts).

Reprofutures is an engaged project which started in 2019, exploring (in)fertility and reproductive possibilities from a life course perspective. Drawing on my doctoral research, I’m working with a group of activists, campaigners and support groups to examine the personal impact and social implications of infertility and other reproductive barriers that occur alongside variations of sex characteristics/intersex traits. This project will contribute to critical ideas about healthcare and the life course, raising important questions about autonomy, support and temporality. In particular, we will be asking how normative development narratives and perceptions of embodied ‘timeliness’ or synchronicity influence our ways of understanding in/fertility. This work is funded by an Engaged Research Exploratory Award.

Beers, Burgers + Bleach: Hygiene, toilets, and hospitality in the time of COVID-19 is a collaboration between academics, hospitality workers, trade unions and local campaigners, responding to rapidly changing circumstances in the hospitality sector. Together with colleagues at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam, we are exploring the labour involved in new hygiene routines during the current public health crisis, with particular attention on the cleaning and monitoring of toilets, and the impact these additional measures have had upon the lives, safety, and responsibilities of hospitality staff. The study was funded by a Wellcome Centre Enhanced Research Award.

The Beat of Our Hearts – staging new histories of LGBTQIA loneliness is a collaboration between the WCCEH, Exeter’s Northcott Theatre, playwright Natalie McGrath, and LGBT+ charity Intercom Trust. This project engages audiences with the history of loneliness and solidarity in LGBTQIA communities, reconnecting them with queer lives of the past. Together we will transform existing research by Dr Fred Cooper and I into a programme of creative workshops in Devon and Cornwall in partnership with the Intercom Trust, which will culminate in the development and staging of an original performance at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre, written by playwright Natalie McGrath. This work is funded by an EDI Engagement Fellowship awarded by the UK Research and Innovation’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Since starting at the WCCEH, I have been contributing to one of the Centre’s Beacon projects, Loneliness and Community, alongside my colleague Dr Fred Cooper. Together we co-founded a student lived experience group on loneliness in 2019, which started with a series of workshops and in 2020 developed into a creative journalling project on loneliness and Covid-19. With our colleague, Dr Olly Clabburn, we launched The Lockdown Blues in 2020, a UNESCO-funded repository for creative reflections on isolation in lockdown in the Southwest of England. This project is an ongoing collaboration with Devon Libraries and Exeter Phoenix. Alongside Fred, I also co-founded the South West Loneliness Network in 2019, connecting academics, students, university staff, community organisations, charities, public health experts, and people with lived experience of loneliness.

Recent publications

Cooper, F. and Jones, C. (2021), ‘Co-production for or against the university: student loneliness and the commodification of impact in COVID-19’, Qualitative Research Journal, (ahead of print).

Jones, C. (2020) ‘Intersex, Infertility and the Future: Early Diagnoses and the Imagined Life Course’, Sociology of Health & Illness, 42, 1, 143-156.

Jones, C., Young, I. and Boydell, N. (2020) ‘The People vs the NHS: Biosexual citizenship and hope in stories of PrEP activism’, Somatechnics.

Jones, C. and Slater, J. (2020) ‘The toilet debate: Stalling trans possibilities and defending ‘women’s protected spaces’’, in S. Erikainen, R. Pearce and B. Vincent (Eds.) TERF Wars, The Sociological Review, 68, 4, 834–851. Book chapter and journal article.

Jones, C., Slater, J., Cleasby, S., Kemp, G., Lisney, E., and Rennie, S. (2019) ‘Pissed Off! Disability activists fighting for toilet access in the UK’ in M. Berghs, T. Chataika and Y. El-Lahib (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Disability Activism.

Jones, C. and Chappell, A. (2019) ‘Feminist education for university staff responding to disclosures of sexual violence: a critique of the dominant model of staff development’, Gender and Education.

Slater, J., Jones. C, and Procter, L. (2019) ‘Troubling School Toilets: Resisting discourses of ‘development’ through a disability studies lens’, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 40, 3, 412-423.

Kneale, D., Jones. C., et al. (2019) Conducting sexualities research – an outline of emergent issues and case studies from ten Wellcome-funded projects, Wellcome Open Research.

PEOPLE – Research Fellows

Lorraine Hansford

15 May 2019


Lorraine Hansford is a Research Fellow based at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, and is also part of the Relational Health Group at the Medical School. She has a professional background in youth and community work, and takes an engaged approach to research, working alongside communities and community organisations. Research interests include health inequalities, particularly in the areas of mental health, end of life and bereavement, and the experiences of low-income communities.


Lorraine’s fellowship explores the impact of poverty on end of life and bereavement experiences in the UK. The Checking Out project is using a range of qualitative approaches to advance understanding of the ways in which end of life care and bereavement services may be failing to meet the needs of those living on a very low income.  The research explores the notion of ‘a good death’, working in partnership with community organisations, health practitioners and those with lived experience to sensitively explore the ways that individuals talk about and experience terminal illness and dying. It will explore possibilities for new ways of introducing and talking about death within communities, and implications for social policy and public health approaches to palliative care.

Lorraine is also working as part of a Wellcome Trust funded secondment at Colab Exeter during 2021. Colab is a wellbeing hub hosting over 30 statutory and voluntary sector organisations supporting people with complex needs (homelessness, addiction, involvement with the criminal justice system, mental ill health). The secondment looks at the role of research and reflection in third sector responses to complex and fast-changing circumstances (e.g. Covid-19) and implications for future practice.  It focuses particularly on ‘Colab Connect’, a pilot programme bringing together different organisations to co-design and test new ways of providing a ‘community response’ to mental health support in Exeter.

Lorraine is also working with colleagues Professor Catherine Leyshon and Dr Shukru Esmene (Social Innovation Group, Centre for Geography and Environmental Sciences), as part of an ESRC Impact Accelerator Account funded project to develop a bespoke version of their ‘Guided Conversation’ toolkit for people with complex needs in Exeter. The Guided Conversation is a place-based, person-centred tool which will be co-produced by people with lived experience of homelessness and practitioners in the field, to support individuals to identify needs and aspirations and organisations to respond to those needs.

Lorraine previously worked on the De-Stress study: an ESRC funded research project running from November 2016 to April 2019, examining the medicalisation of distress in low-income communities. The study examined the ways in which moral narratives (relating to individual responsibility and welfare entitlements) impact on healthcare decisions, prescribing practice and experiences of health and wellbeing.

Prior to this Lorraine worked as an Associate Research Fellow within the Child Mental Health research group.


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