Joanna Bourke (Founder and Director) is Professor of History in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She has recently begun a five-year Investigator Award by the Wellcome Trust to work on “Sexual Violence, Medicine, and Science”. A cultural historian of Britain, America, and Ireland, her books have ranged from the history of women in Ireland to social histories of the British working classes, to cultural histories of military conflict from the mid nineteenth century to the present. She has worked on the history of the emotions, particularly fear and hatred, and the history of sexual violence. In the past few years, her research has focussed on questions of humanity, militarisation, and pain. She wrote a book entitled What It Means to Be Human. In 2014, she published two books: Wounding the World. How Military Violence and War Games Invade Our World and The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers. Read more
Louise Hide (Co-founder and Director) is a Wellcome Trust Fellow in Medical Humanities working on ‘Hiding in Plain Sight. Cultures of Harm in Residential Institutions for Long-Term Adult Care, Britain 1945-1980s’. Her interests are in the history of psychiatry and its institutions. She was lead organiser of the Birkbeck conference and related public events (April 2016), ‘Cultures of Harm in Institutions of Care. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives’. She is also writing a non-fiction book about one of the first female doctors to work in an asylum in the late 19th century, under contract with Fig Tree (Penguin) and due for publication in 2019. From January 2011 to December 2013, she was the lead post-doctoral researcher for the Birkbeck Pain Project, a three-year project exploring the social and cultural meanings of pain led by Joanna Bourke. She held a two year Birkbeck/Wellcome Trust ISSF Fellowship. Read more
Whitney Wood (Associate) is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Birkbeck, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her research interests include the history of the female body, reproduction, and childbirth, and she explores experiences and representations of women’s pain and trauma in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her first book, Birth Pangs: Maternity, Medicine, and Feminine Delicacy in English Canada, 1867-1940, is currently under contract with McGill-Queen’s University Press. At Birkbeck, she is also beginning a new research project, “A New Way to Birth? The Natural Birth Movement in English Canada, 1930-1980”, which investigates the history of natural childbirth ideologies and practices that represented increasing opposition to the medicalization of childbirth that had been ongoing since the second half of the nineteenth century. Read more.