Research Assistant (3 Posts) – Modern History of Health or Medicine: Central Europe

University of Huddersfield – School of Music, Humanities & Media

V0029776 An ornate doorway into a large stone building used as a disp Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images An ornate doorway into a large stone building used as a dispensary in Prague. Photograph. By: Zikmund ReachPublished:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

V0029776 An ornate doorway into a large stone building used as a dispensary

Fixed term appointments for 6 months, 1.0 FTE

Three full time Research Assistants are required for the project European Healthcare before Welfare States under the direction of Professor Barry Doyle. You will work within the Centre for Health Histories (CHH) to undertake secondary and primary research into the provision of healthcare in one of Poland, Czechoslovakia or Hungary between the wars. The Research Assistants will focus on the following priorities:

  • Undertake a desk based literature review of current work in English and other languages in the field of interwar healthcare in one of Poland, Hungary or Czechoslovakia 1900-1940.
  • Undertake up to two months field work in archives and libraries in one of Poland, Hungary or Czech Republic/Slovakia.
  • Support the development of an international network around the theme of European Healthcare before Welfare States.
  • Along with the project Principal Investigator, develop partnerships with non-academic partners.
  • Work with the Principal Investigator and other Research Assistants to mount an international workshop in December 2016.
  • Produce a report of fieldwork and present findings to a workshop.
  • Contribute to a collective article with the Principal Investigator and other Research Assistants on sources and methods for the study of healthcare in the region between the wars.

With a good Honours degree and an MA in modern health or social history of Central Europe, you will also have fluency in one or (more) of Polish, Czech, Slovakian or Magyar.

For informal discussions please contact the Principal Investigator, Professor Barry Doyle 01484 471625: Email

For further details about this post and to make an application, visit

Job Ref: R2392
Working for Equal Opportunities.Closing date: 06 June 2016
Interview date: 30 June 2016

Innovative University. Inspiring Employer

Image credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
An ornate doorway into a large stone building used as a dispensary in Prague. Photograph.
By: Zikmund ReachPublished: –
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Modern Social/Health History

L0044863 Willis's cigarettes card Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images A man with his arm in a sling - a triangular bandage for the shoulder. 1913 Triangular bandage for the shoulder / W.D. & H.O. Wills (Firm) Published: [1913] Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

L0044863 Willis’s cigarettes card 1913
Credit: Wellcome Library, 

We are looking to recruit a Research Assistant for 12 months Full Time for an AHRC funded project based at the University of Hull.

The successful candidate will work on a project entitled ‘Crossing Boundaries: The History of First Aid in Britain and France, 1909-1989’. The post is based at the University of Hull, working with the Principal Investigator, Dr Rosemary Wall. However, the Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) will also benefit from the mentorship of the Co-Investigator, Professor Barry Doyle, at the University of Huddersfield, and the project team will meet together at least once every six weeks.

With a PhD in History, History of Medicine or a cognate discipline, the successful candidate will have reading knowledge of French, and will ideally be experienced in oral history research.

Research will include visiting archives and libraries in Paris and two other French cities, as well as archives in Britain.

The role requires understanding of twentieth-century social history as the PDRA will research and co-author at least one journal article on the impact of war and society on the policy, knowledge and practice of first aid.

The PDRA will also have the opportunity to propose and write a single-authored journal article which directly expands the goals of the project.

In addition, the PDRA will assist with:

  • Oral history research and transcription
  •  recording and transcribing witness seminars to which current and past practitioners and policy makers will contribute
  • co-organising engagement events such as a project conference and a forum,
  • writing several blog posts for the project website.
Reference:  FA0162
Campus:  Hull
Faculty/Area:  Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Department:  History
Salary:  £32,600 to £37,768 per annum
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date:  Sunday 08 May 2016

For further details of the post and how to apply go to

For further details of the project:

Follow us on twitter @FirstAidHistory

Beauty and the Hospital in History: Call for Papers

International Network for the History of Hospitals
Malta, 6–8 April 2017
Hosted by the Mediterranean Institute at the University of Malta, and the University of Warwick

INHH pics


Beauty, and its perceived absence or loss, has been a part of hospital experiences, therapies, and
planning throughout history. This conference aims to shed new light onto the history of beauty and
health by exploring the subjective concepts of beauty, ‘normality’, and their opposites within and
around the hospital.
This eleventh INHH conference will consider the relationship between beauty and the hospital in
history through an examination of five key themes: (1) the arts and the hospital; (2) landscape and
environment; (3) restoring beauty; (4) patient and staff experiences; and (5) beauty and the senses.
Below are more details about the themes the conference will address, along with related questions.
These themes and questions are by no means exhaustive, however, and we encourage the submission
of abstracts that discuss other aspects of beauty and the hospital in history in innovative ways.

Key Themes and Questions to be Explored:

1. The Arts and the Hospital:

  • How has the beauty of the arts been perceived to affect encounters within the hospital,
    been promoted by hospital patrons, or been used as a healing therapy in the hospital?

    •  Examples: Music, painting/s, festivities, crafts, creativity, architecture

2. Landscape and Environment:

  • How has the beauty of a landscape or environment — or its absence — shaped the choice
    of location for hospitals, and why?

    • Example: A medieval or colonial leprosy hospital situated in a beautiful landscape
      for its therapeutic value
      o Example: Asylums, isolation hospitals, or prison hospitals intentionally located in
      marginal, inaccessible or ‘ugly’ spaces, both urban and rural, and the consequences
      this was perceived to have on the health of patients
  • How have landscape and environment been adapted to affect hospital therapies and

    • Example: Hospital gardens
  • How did ancient ideas about the influence of environmental conditions upon health
    affect hospital care in the medieval and early modern periods?

3. Restoring Beauty:

  • Who decides what is beautiful or aesthetic, and whether and how that beauty should be
    restored? What strategies have been used in hospitals to restore or enhance that beauty,
    be it physical, mental, or emotional?

    • Example: Cosmetic surgery, prosthetics
    • Example: Psychotherapy to restore the perceived beauty of the mind
  • What happens when beauty or health cannot be fully restored? How have such
    therapies been depicted?

    • Example: Palliative care aimed at lessening suffering or alleviating the effects of
      ‘ugliness’; depictions of such care in before and after photographs, textbooks, and
      publicity material

4. Patient and Staff Experiences:

  • How have patients and staff experienced beauty or ugliness in hospitals? How and why
    has their access to beauty been encouraged or restricted?

    • Example: Hospital gardens for the use of patients only
    • Example: The isolation of patients in ‘ugly’ spaces as punishment
    • Example: The most beautiful spaces in a hospital compound restricted for the
      accommodation of European or white staff and patients
  • How was daily life in the hospital informed by the desire to create a beautiful order
    structuring the resident community?

    • Example: Ordinances and regulations inspired by religious or imperial precepts that
      guided daily life in residential hospitals

5. Beauty and the Senses:

  • How can we understand beauty — or its perceived absence — through the senses of
    smell, touch, sight, taste, and hearing? How has the hospital been a place for the care,
    enhancement, or experience of the beauty of these senses?

    • Example: Disgust surrounding ugly smells in hospitals; strategies to silence or
      shroud unsightly patients and practices
    • Example: The preferential hospitalisation of patients considered damaged in terms
      of their senses, e.g. the predominance of in-patients with a loss of nerve sensation
      in their hands and feet in colonial leprosy settlements

The Advisory Board of the INHH, as organisers of this conference, wish to invite proposals for 20
minute papers which address the conference theme. Potential contributors are asked to bear in mind
that engagement with the theme of beauty and the hospital will be a key criterion in determining
which papers are accepted onto the programme.

Abstracts should be a maximum of 300 words in length, in English and accompanied by a brief self
biography of no more than 200 words. Proposals should be sent to by
15 May 2016. As with previous INHH conferences, it is intended that an edited volume of the
conference papers will be published. Submissions are particularly encouraged from researchers who
have not previously given a paper at an INHH conference.

Upon provision of full receipts, we hope to be able to support attendance at this conference,
particularly for postgraduates and early career researchers. Speakers will be asked to make use of
alternative sources of funding where these are available.

Any queries may be directed to

Crossing Boundaries: The History of First Aid in Britain and France, 1909-1989



Dr Rosemary Wall, Lecturer in Global History, Department of History, University of Hull, has been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Early-Career Grant of £200,000, with co-investigator and mentor, Professor Barry Doyle, Centre for Health Histories, University of Huddersfield.

First aid is a broad term encompassing activities from applying a sticking plaster, to preparing for and managing the effects of war. In this new study Wall and Doyle will focus on the initial treatment of minor injuries and techniques for basic life support undertaken by people other than recognized medical professionals. The project begins in 1909, when Voluntary Aid Detachments (including auxiliary nurses) were established by the British Red Cross, and ends by examining the influence of the Cold War on our knowledge of first aid. A major focus for the research will be the first aid activity and the diffusion of first aid knowledge conducted by the British Red Cross and other organisations such as St John’s Ambulance.

They will test the typicality of the British experience by examining of the development of first aid in France. French healthcare and voluntary associations developed in different ways to those in England. There has, for example, been a more prominent, and controversial, role for religious organisations, a greater level of state intervention in the oversight of first aid providers and a set of priorities strongly influenced by the experience of war and invasion. Moreover, the centrality of contributory insurance and the freedom of doctors from state employment may have shaped the continuing role of first aid within the French system.

Wall and Doyle’s project will move beyond professional, institutional care to focus on the history of the personal, voluntary and communitarian forms of healthcare generally known as first aid. They feel that an understanding of the trajectory of non-institutional treatment across the twentieth century, and in particular the effect of freely available universal health provision on the willingness of the public to self-treat minor injuries, can help to illuminate the boundaries of state provision, individual responsibility and voluntary action in the era of welfare states. Moreover, tracing the fate of first aid provides an opportunity to inform responses to the current crisis in the British National Health Service, especially recent heavy demands on GP surgeries and accident and emergency departments.

The grant begins on 1 March 2016 and runs to 31 August 2018. Wall and Doyle will shortly be recruiting a post-doctoral researcher to assist with the project, who will particularly focus on the research which will be undertaken in France and on oral history. As well as writing publications, the team will be working on a variety of policy and public engagement activities.

Story originally published on

Voices of Madness Conference CFP

Voices of Madness

Centre for Health Histories, University of Huddersfield

15th- 16th Sept 2016

Voices image

In the thirty years since Roy Porter called on historians to lower their gaze so that they might better understand patient-doctor roles in the past, historians have sought to place the voices of previously, silent, marginalised and disenfranchised individuals at the heart of their analyses. Contemporaneously, the development of service user groups and patient consultations have become an important feature of the debates and planning related to current approaches to prevention, care and treatment. The aim of this conference is to further explore and reveal how the voices of people with experience of mental illness have been recorded and expressed. We hope to consider recent developments in these areas with a view to facilitating an interdisciplinary discourse around historical perspectives of mental health and illness.

The organisers invite proposals for twenty minute papers or panels, workshops, and roundtables of ninety minutes on the themes of voices of madness and mental ill health under headings including but not limited to:

• Oral history and testimony
• Community care
• Institutional histories
• The role of informal carers
• The growth of the mental health professions
• Mental ill health and the voice(s) of adolescents and children
• Museums and ‘heritage’
• Literature (fiction and non-fiction)
• Language of madness (if not covered by ‘heritage’)
• Dissenting voices
• Appropriation/advocacy
• Patient and community participation
• Absent voices
• Art
• Stigma
• Self expression

For more information contact Dr Rob Ellis (, Dr Sarah Kendal ( or Dr Steven Taylor ( To submit a paper proposal (250 words maximum) or express an interest, please contact Steve Taylor by 14 March 2015. We hope to offer some bursaries for postgraduate and early career researchers.

European Healthcare before Welfare States


The ‘Hospital for Businessmen’, Prague


The Centre for Health Histories at the University of Huddersfield (formerly the Centre for the History of Public Health and Medicine CHPHM) has been awarded almost £90,000 by the University research Fund for a project designed to enhance the international research and profile of the Centre. The Centre, led by professor Barry Doyle, includes Dr Lindsey Dodd, Dr Rebecca Gill, Dr Rob Ellis, Dr Alex von Lunen, research students Andrew Holroyde and Sarah Taylor and recent appointment as Centre Research Assistant, Dr Steve Taylor.

The project will develop the international elements of the Centre through three inter-linked activities:

1. A research network of UK, European and North American scholars to meet in two focused workshops in 2016 and 2017 to discuss national and transnational themes in healthcare before welfare states.
2. A focused pilot project to collect data on health care systems in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia to build knowledge in an area with little published research in either local languages or English.
3. The appointment of 3 visiting professors on short term placements in Huddersfield to develop projects, co-write for international journals and prepare funding bids.

Work Package 1
A research network of UK, European, North American and Australasian scholars to meet in two focused workshops in 2016 and 2017 to discuss national and transnational themes in healthcare before welfare states.
We propose to hold one workshop on Hospital Provision in Europe and North America, 1880-1950 and a second on Treating Mental Health before the Welfare State.

Work package 2
A focused pilot project to collect data on health care systems in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

The aim of this element of the project is to identify a primary source base to explore how hospital provision was established, managed and funded in the successor states of East Central Europe (Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary) created in 1918. It will examine these developments from a ground up approach to explore the practical process of building health care provision at a local level. It will seek to locate suitable source material to undertake local case studies of hospital services.

The project will use international comparison across three countries and will open up opportunities to examine healthcare in diverse economic, social and political situations. It will draw on Doyle’s comparative work on Anglo-French hospital services which utilised urban case studies to assess the day-to-day operation of healthcare before welfare states. Healthcare provision in the three nations chosen for this project Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary has received limited attention from historians. Much of the English language work has focused on the activities of the Rockefeller Foundation, between 1918-25, while studies of early national health policy have concentrated on links between eugenics and local services. Local studies of provision remain rare.

We will conduct literature reviews, archival scoping and the collection of some pilot data with the help of research assistants with high-level competence in Czech, Polish and Hungarian respectively. After an initial period reviewing literature and identifying appropriate collections, the RAs will spend up to two months in their respective countries exploring archival sources, undertaking initial data collection and meeting with potential collaborators and project partners. The research visit will include a period in the capital identifying national records, print sources and medical journals and some time in a provincial centre scoping local archival material such as hospital records, local authority material, newspapers. In the final two months they will write up reports to include assessment of the scope and quality of archival material, the problems and possibilities offered by the source base and the initial pilot data collected. This material will be presented in a plenary workshop involving ten-fifteen academics interested in interwar health care provision in a European context. There will also be a co-authored article on the findings of the project for submission to a major medical history journal.

We hope the project will make a significant contribution to the history of health care provision by opening up local records in East-Central Europe for researchers and by placing hospital development in these countries in a Europe wide context. In particular, we will view these developments from the ground up examining the practical process of building health care provision at a local level. Integrating East Central Europe into the history of European hospitals will challenge existing paradigms based on the relatively wealthy, urban and politically stable states of western Europe that currently dominate the historiography and offer an opportunity to explore the role of health care in national identity formation.

Work Package 3
The appointment of 3 visiting professors on short-term placements in Huddersfield to develop projects, co-write for international journals and prepare funding bids. Opportunities may exist for reciprocal or complementary visits.

The visiting professors will: work on their own research, supported by colleagues in the Centre for Health Histories; present their research at Huddersfield and other institutions; provide advice and mentoring to staff and students associated with the Centre, especially around applying for non-UK funding, research strategies and environments in Europe and North America, opportunities for collaboration and reciprocal visiting roles; develop joint funding bids with colleagues in the Centre; co-author articles/co-edit books or special issues with Centre staff and students.

We are looking forward to developing this project, mounting the workshops and working with our project partners, including Professor Petr Svobodny of Charles University. It is intended to set up a web presence for the European Healthcare before Welfare States Network, with a blog and to explore both academic and non-academic outputs including information for governments and think tanks across. Europe.

‘Comforting the Sick’: Christmas in the interwar Hospital

Sheffield newscuttings 626

Sheffield, 1925

Nobody wants to be in hospital and especially not at Christmas. In recent years the health service has done what it can to minimise Christmas admissions and to send people home if they possibly can. But that option was often not available to the medical institutions of the interwar period. Many of their patients were chronically sick, especially the children, while even relatively straight-forward conditions normally required a stay of two to three weeks on the wards. In these circumstances the management and medical staff did what they could to make Christmas as pleasant as possible.

Between the wars a hospital Christmas was characterised by four recurring elements: a public appeal for gifts; the decoration of the wards; a round of civic visits; and a staff entertainment for colleagues and patients. As with most elements of hospital life, these activities became more democratic, more professional and more informal as these institutions extended their patient base.

Sheffield newscuttings 949Sheffield, 1934

During the interwar period non-cash contributions remained part of a wide range of voluntary forms of giving that had Christmas at their heart. However, the form of this giving changed over time. At the end of the First World War it was still a largely middle class activity. At Leeds General Infirmary in 1919 around 100 individuals donated fruit, flowers, sweets and chocolate, Christmas puddings, cakes, trees and turkeys, toys and cigarettes, with Mr Bland of Kippax also supplying 20 partridges, 30 pheasants and a forequarter of venison.
However, by the early 1920s donors were being drawn from across society. From 1932 the annual report of the Leeds General Infirmary carried a list of Christmas contributions which by 1937 showed around 250 people giving £350 with an additional £75 coming from collecting boxes in the Infirmary and local department stores. In Middlesbrough the weeks before the holiday saw an annual appeal from the Matron of the North Riding Infirmary for donations of toys, cigarettes or money for patient gifts while in Sheffield the entire community was mobilised in an organised effort to provide presents for over 2000 patients and members of staff.



Women’s Ward, North Riding Infirmary, Middlesbrough, 1925

Here the collection and distribution of Christmas gifts and money was undertaken by the Joint Hospitals’ Council and the distribution of present became the task of the Rotary Club. In addition to Christmas gifts given direct to institutions – such as trees and turkeys – the Hospitals’ Council collected around £350 per annum in cash to fund the purchase of presents. This was supplemented by gifts given by local traders and the parcels were made up by the Rotary Club and the Ladies Auxiliary. In 1924, when a total of over 10,000 gifts in 1516 parcels were handed out, the Christmas parcels for men contained tobacco and pipe or cigarettes, fruit, handkerchief and book; for women, fruit, handkerchief, chocolates, needlecase and book; for children, fruit, chocolates, sweets, book and toy and for the nurses a box of chocolates. In addition, large permanent toys such as rocking horses were sent to the children’s wards. The following year the number of parcels rose to 2,500 and remained at roughly this level for the rest of the period.

Sheffield newscuttings 628


In preparation for Christmas, staff set about decorating the wards. In the early part of the 1920s this retained a traditional feel with trees and festive decorations, however, in the 1930s there was a move towards artistic, topical and even exotic themes. In Middlesbrough one year saw a

Japanese garden, with the women patients garbed in Kimonos, was a pleasing contrast to the ‘One Way’ ward of the men, where each bed was marked with a Belisha Beacon and various road signs were introduced.

In Sheffield Royal Hospital in 1938 a ward was ‘transformed into an Eskimo Encampment’ while the Children’s Ward drew inspiration closer to home – the Blackpool promenade as:

From the children’s beds came a merry clamour and the effect was enhanced by roundabouts and a toy elephant that seemed to be thoroughly alive, so comical were its antics.

Inevitably, children’s wards were a particular focus of attention, the one in Sheffield Infirmary in 1934 being influenced by J M Barrie.

Mounted on a pedestal with a pipe to his lips was Peter Pan. Floating gracefully from the ceiling was Wendy, and nearby, also suspended in space, was the fairy Tinker Bell, who lived up to a her name by spontaneously ringing at intervals.

Sheffield newscuttings 979a

Sheffield 1934

Most improbable to modern sensibilities was a male ward transformed into ‘the Nicotine Club, [where] gigantic pipes, cigarettes, matches and petrol lighters made the Lord Mayor regret that he has left his tobacco in the car’.


Sheffield newscuttings 759

Sheffield, 1938

On Christmas Day itself the wards became a hive of activity as civic dignitaries and local volunteers began a tour of the institutions to well-wish and distribute gifts. In Sheffield, with its four hospitals, the civic circuit could last up to four hours, with the scene in the Royal Hospital in the 1928 typical of the events:

To the delight of both patients and staff, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (Alderman and Mrs H Bolton) accompanied by the Master and Mistress Cutler (Mr and Mrs T G Sorby) visited the Hospital and were received by the Chairman and Vice- Chairman. Each Ward was visited and the patients were given a message of greeting on Christmas morning. Closely following the Lord Mayor’s party was “Father Christmas” a member of the Rotary Club, who distributed the gifts which were provided by the Joint Hospital Council. The singing of Carols by Miss Ida Bloor, Miss Ena Roberts, Mr Stanley Jepson and Mr Joseph Green during the distribution of the Christmas gifts was a source of much enjoyment to all who spent their Christmas Day in the Hospital.

Sheffield newscuttings 949

Sheffield , 1933

Finally, in the days after Christmas, the staff mounted a show for hospital supporters, other staff and patients when, as the Sheffield Telegraph punningly noted, ‘Staff desserts theatre for theatre’. These events had a long tradition – the one at the Sheffield Royal Infirmary had been underway in some form since the 1890s – but as was noted in 1937 those events were not as ambitious or ‘so carefully rehearsed’! Indeed, this year was the first that sets had been hired while ‘bright costumes and clever lighting lent the production an atmosphere of pageantry as well as pantomime’.



Christmas Panto, Little North Riding Hood,

North Riding Infirmary, Middlesbrough

The Christmas entertainment was an opportunity for the world to turn upside down (a little). The staff dressed up and played different roles – aided by the pantomime form. Invariably it also included the (all male) resident medical staff dressing as women – 1937 saw them as a harem for a ‘dance of the seven veils’ routine while in 1938 they appeared as fairies. The shows, written by the staff, also gave the opportunity for a flurry of in-jokes and to poke fun at each others – even if the journalists reporting didn’t always understand what was gong on!


Middlesbrough’s Lord Mayor Pulls a Cracker

Middlesbrough General Nurses Home, Christmas 1946

Pictures: Sheffield all from Sheffield Daily Telegraph. Middlesbrough from B. Doyle, A History of Hospitals in Middlesbrough, South Tees Hospital Trust, Middlesbrough, 2002