Fred Cooper

Research Fellow

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).

Twitter: @drfredcooper

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

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