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.
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.
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.)
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]