News

September 2017

European Association of the History of Medicine and Health Biennial Conference

The Body Politic: States in the History of Medicine and Health. Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania, 30 – 2 September 2017
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Pictured from left to right: Professor Hilary Marland (co-PI, Warwick); Professor Virginia Berridge (LSHTM); Associate Professor Catherine Cox (co-PI, UCD); Dr Janet Weston (LSHTM); Dr Margaret Charleroy (Warwick); Dr Rachel Bennett (Warwick); Dr William Murphy (DCU); and, Dr Fiachra Byrne (UCD). EAHMH Biennial Conference, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania, 2 September 2017.

We were delighted to contribute a panel and several individual papers to the European Association of the History of Medicine and Health (EAHMH) Biennial Conference in Bucharest. The project’s panel for the conference was called, ‘The Right to Care and the Rule of the State: Health, Responsibility and Discipline in the English and Irish Prison Systems’. It was a very enjoyable and stimulating conference and we look forward to the next one in 2019.

August 2017

Parnell Summer School 2017

Crime, Punishment and Justice, Avondale House, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, 13-17 August

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Project member Dr William Murphy (DCU), in his role as Academic Director of the Parnell Summer School, chose Crime, Punishment and Justice as the theme for the five-day annual event.  The project team was delighted to form a panel for the Parnell Summer School entitled Mental Health and Incarceration that was chaired by Dr Holly Dunbar on Wednesday 16 August. Associate Professor Catherine Cox (UCD) and Dr Fiachra Byrne (UCD) both presented on aspects of their research projects.

See also:

Disorder Contained

Theatre performances at Rich Mix, Shoreditch, London on 9 & 10 October

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Following the successful run of Disorder Contained at Coventry, Dublin and Belfast we are delighted to confirm the London venue and dates for this show.

Rich Mix

35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London E1 6LA

Mon 9 Oct, 7.45 pm

Tue 10 Oct, 2.30 pm & 7.45 pm

A post-show conversation with expert contributors will follow each performance.

For further details see:

July 2017

Public Art Project: ‘The Trial’

Dr Sinead McCann awarded Arts Council of Ireland Participation Programme Award for her project ‘The Trial’

Kilmainham Gaol, Kilmainham 11 – Kilmainham Courthouse Courtroom

We are very happy to announce that Dr Sinead McCann, Visual Artist, has received a second Arts Council of Ireland Award in her role as our UCD CHOMI-based Public Engagement Officer. This further award, given under the Arts Council’s Participation Programme scheme, is for her project ‘The Trial’.

Sinead will work collaboratively with historian Dr Holly Dunbar (UCD CHOMI), film-maker Mary Caffrey, participants from the Bridge Project (a community-based organisation providing training and support programmes for high risk violent ex-offenders in the greater Dublin area). In April 2018, the team will produce a visual arts installation for public exhibition in Kilmainham Gaol Museum’s Old Court Room.

For further details please see:

Public Art Project: ‘Inside Health’

Dr Sinead McCann awarded Arts Council of Ireland Open Call Programme funding for her project ‘Inside Health’

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We are delighted to announce that Dr Sinead McCann, Visual Artist and our UCD-based Public Engagement Officer, has been the recipient of a prestigious Arts Council of Ireland Open Call Programme award for her innovative project ‘Inside Health’.

This public intervention will take the form of a series of distinctive posters that will subversively occupy the private advertising space of two large billboards and a number of bus shelters in the Dublin 7 area. The posters will explore a range of historical and contemporary perspectives relating to Irish prison regimes and their impact on prisoners’ health.

For further details please see:

 

‘In Humanity’s Machine’: Prison Health and History

Fiachra Byrne, Early Career Academics Network Bulletin, Howard League for Penal Reform, Issue 33, July 2017

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An article by Dr Fiachra Byrne, ‘”In Humanity’s Machine’ Prison Health and History’ was published in the latest issue (July 2017) of the Howard League’s Early Career Academics Network Bulletin. The article provides a general overview of the ‘Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health’ project and its personnel and also details Fiachra’s research on the history of the mental health of juveniles in custody.

Disorder Contained

Arts Project: Theatrical Production with Talking Birds, Coventry, Dublin, Belfast, London

Disorder Contained: A theatrical examination of madness, prison and solitary confinement finished its run in Coventry on 1 July. The show then moved on to the Smock Alley Theatre 1662 in Dublin with performances on 12, 13 and 14 July before moving to Belfast for a performance at The MAC on 15 July.

For further details please see:

London Dates for Disorder Contained

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We are also delighted to announce that Disorder Contained will play for a further run of dates at Rich Mix in London on 9 & 10 October. For further details please see:

June 2017

Disorder Contained

Arts Project: Theatrical Production with Talking Birds, Coventry, Dublin, Belfast, London

Disorder Contained: A theatrical examination of madness, prison and solitary confinement will commence its run of performances in the UK and Ireland at the Shop Front Theatre in Coventry on 29 June. It constitutes a major public engagement activity for the project and draws on the work of project team co-PIs Associate Professor Catherine Cox (UCD) and Professor Hilary Marland (Warwick). It forms the final part of The Asylum Trilogy exploring various aspects of the history of mental health. The production, created with Talking Birds and to be performed in Coventry, Dublin, Belfast, and London during the summer of 2017, will be accompanied by Expert Panel Discussions as well as Post-show Artistic Conversations which will be recorded along with a performance.

For further details please see:

Inside Reform

Policy Workshop, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 2 June 2017

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The project’s second policy workshop, Inside Reform, took place on 2 June 2017 at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Participants were drawn from academic, NGO, public and professional organisations.

For further details please see:

Monograph by Dr Janet Weston (LSHTM) to be Published December 2017

Medicine, the Penal System and Sexual Crimes in England, 1919–1960s: Diagnosing Deviance (Bloomsbury, 2017)

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Project member Dr Janet Weston is due to have a monograph published in December 2017. Based upon her doctoral research the book is called, Medicine, the Penal System and Sexual Crimes in England, 1919–1960s: Diagnosing DevianceIt will be published by Bloomsbury. It has already received excellent reviews and you can pre-order copies now!

May 2017

Monograph by Dr Rachel Bennett (Warwick)

Capital Punishment and the Criminal Corpse in Scotland, 1740–1834 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) by Dr Rachel Bennett

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We are delighted to announce the imminent publication of project member Dr Rachel Bennett’s monograph, Capital Punishment and the Criminal Corpse in Scotland, 1740-1834. Based on her doctoral research, it will published by Palgrave Macmillan as part of their fascinating series, Palgrave Historical Studies in the Criminal Corpse and its Afterlife. This book provides the most in-depth study of capital punishment in Scotland between the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth century to date. Based upon an extensive gathering and analysis of previously untapped resources, it takes the reader on a journey from the courtrooms of Scotland to the theatre of the gallows.

Witness Seminar: HIV/AIDS and the Prison Service 1980s-2000s

Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 18 May 2017

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A Witness Seminar on ‘HIV/AIDS and the Prison Service 1980s–2000s’ was held on 18 May at the Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The event was led by Professor Virginia Berridge (LSHTM) and Dr Janet Weston (LSHTM).

April 2017

Diet and Nutrition in Institutions of Care: History and Policy

Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick, 21 April 2017

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On 21 April, project member Dr Margaret Charleroy (Warwick) co-convened a full-day event exploring the history of, and current policy around, diet and nutrition in institutions of care. This event, entitled, Diet and Nutrition in Institutions of Care: History & Policy, was organised in collaboration with Dr Jennifer Crane (Warwick) and Dr Jane Hand (Warwick) from the Cultural History of the NHS project. The event was hosted at the Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick. Subsequently, Margaret published an article about the event for The Conversation.

Project Members Present at the Social History Society Annual Conference

Social History Annual Conference, University College London, 4–6 April 2017
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Confinement, Health and Illness in Prisons Panel. Pictured, left to right, Dr Heather Shore (Leeds), and project members Dr Rachel Bennett (Warwick), Dr William Murphy (DCU), Dr Janet Weston (LSHTM) and Dr Margaret Charleroy (Warwick).

Members of the project team were delighted to present their research at the Social History Society Annual Conference hosted by University College London. Project members contributed to two panels: ‘Confinement, Health and Illness in Prisons’ and ‘Deviant Minds: Criminality and Mental Disorder’.

March 2017

Project E-News Launched

Subscribe to receive regular e-news updates about the project

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We’re very excited by the launch of the project’s e-news. Make sure to subscribe if you want to receive all our latest updates.

Project Meeting

Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 21 March 2017
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Project members pictured below, from left to right.
Back: Professor Hillary Marland, Professor Virginia Berridge, Dr Fiachra Byrne, Flo Swann, Dr Rachel Bennett, Dr Sinead McCann, and Dr Holly Dunbar
Front: Dr Margaret Charleroy, Associate Professor Catherine Cox, and Dr Janet Weston

We had a wonderful project meeting on 21 March at the Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. We were kindly hosted by project members Professor Virginia Berridge and Dr Janet Weston. It was great to catch up with everyone’s research and also to welcome the new additions to the project team.

February 2017

Select Committee of Inquiry into Mental Health and Deaths in Prisons
Submission of written evidence by Professor Hilary Marland

Professor Hilary Marland (Director Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwirkc), co-PI on the project, submitted written evidence to the Select Committee of Inquiry into Mental Health and Deaths in Prisons.

In her submission Professor Marland provided evidence of the ways in which history can constructively inform policy and enhance debate on mental health in prison. She concluded that there has been an enduring relationship between segregation and solitary confinement in prisons and high rates of mental illness.

Why the authorities ‘should leave a man alone with his thoughts for eight months I cannot possibly conceive’, reflected prisoner John Lee of his experiences at the start of his sentence in Pentonville in 1885. ‘I can think of nothing more calculated to drive a prisoner mad than eight months of solitude with nothing to think about but his own miseries, with no companion save despair.’ Prisoner W.B.N. commented that ‘the system of “separate confinement” is a very bad one’. Some prisoners ‘become little better than half-witted by the time their separate confinement is at an end’. The prison cellular system kept each man ‘in his separate hell’, wrote another prisoner of his confinement in the early 1920s, as in place of the physical torture of days gone by, we find substituted ‘a peculiar form of mental torture… it is not difficult to understand how the minds of many prisoners become warped and contorted from the comparatively healthy state to the imbecile and dangerous’.

Social Media Accounts Launched

Now on Twitter and Facebook

With the addition of new personnel, the project launched social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

January 2017

Appointments

Holly Dunbar (UCD) Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Holly Dunbar joined the project on a three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship based at University College Dublin. Holly will be working on prison reform organisations and health interventions in England and Ireland.

Sinead McCann (UCD) and Flo Swann (Warwick), Public Engagement Officers
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Image by Dr Sinead McCann

Dr Sinead McCann and Ms Flo Swann joined the project as Public Engagement Officers. Sinead will be based at University College Dublin and Flo at the University of Warwick. They bring combined expertise in marketing, arts production, theatre and the visual arts.

Nicholas Duvall (Warwick & UCD)

Dr Nicholas Duvall, research assistant on Associate Professor Catherine Cox’s and Professor Hilary Marland’s project strand, completed his two-year term on the project in January 2017. Nicholas contributed substantially to the collection of research material, developed his own research strand on prison doctors in the 1970s-1980s, and has submitted an article on this theme to Medical History.

December 2016

Article by Project Member Dr Janet Weston (LSHTM) Published in Discover Society

HIV, AIDS, and Condoms in Prisons

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Project member Dr Janet Weston (LSHTM) had an article on her research published in the online journal, Discover Society. Her article is entitled, ‘HIV, AIDS, and Condoms in Prisons’.

My research into the impact of HIV and AIDS on prisoner healthcare looks at why this might have been, and how the prison system in England and Wales responded to the problems they presented. One of the most controversial recommendations made by international agencies, as well as by advocates closer to home, was that prison administrators should provide condoms to male inmates during their time in prison. Condoms had quickly become a mainstay of HIV and AIDS prevention in the UK as a whole, but how could prisons enable safer sex when ‘officially’ sex did not take place behind their walls?

November 2016

Appointments

Rachel Bennett

Dr Rachel Bennett joined the project on a three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship based at the University of Warwick. Rachel will be working on women, healthcare and maternity in English and Irish prisons.

March 2016

Hilary Marland: 2016 Roy Porter Lecture

Wellcome Library, London, 22 March 2017

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Professor Hilary Marland (Warwick), co-PI on the project, delivered the 2016 Roy Porter Lecture on 22 March. Her talk was entitled, Hearing the Convict Cry, Hearing the Patient’s Voice.

Appointments

Janet Weston

Dr Janet Weston joined the project on a two-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical. Janet will be working on the history of HIV/AIDS in prison in England and Ireland, 1980-2000.

February 2016

The Prison and Mental Health: From Confinement to Diversion

Policy Event: The Shard, London, 12 February 2016

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The project’s first policy workshop, The Prison and Mental Health, took place on 12 February 2016 in London, at the Shard. Participants were drawn from academic, NGO, public and professional organisations.

For further details please see:

December 2015

Prisons, Penal Colonies and the Medical Humanities

Workshop: Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick, 7 December 2015

A workshop with participants from our project and the Carceral Archipelago project took place on 7th December at the University of Warwick. Further details are available here.

May 2015

Appointments

Margaret Charleroy

Dr Margaret Charleroy took up her three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (based at Warwick). Margaret will be working on health in prisons and the management of chronic conditions and infectious disease.

April 2015

Public Lecture: Punishment and Order: The Irish Prison System in 1915

Liberty Hall, Dublin, 6 April 2015

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Dr Fiachra Byrne gave a public lecture, ‘Punishment and Order: The Irish Prison System in 1915’ as part of the RTE Road to the Rising series of public talks and events on the history of Irish independence, 6 April 2015.

Project Meeting

University of Warwick, 9-10 April 2015

The second project meeting took place at Warwick on 9-10 April.

March 2015

Young People and Mental Disorder: Is the Law Fit for Purpose?

Durham University, Law School Symposium, 19 March 2015

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Fiachra Byrne presented ‘Law in Context: Framing Child Mental Health in Medicine, Community and Education’ at the Durham University, Law School symposium ‘Young People and Mental Disorder: Is the Law Fit for Purpose’, 19 March 2015. Convened by Dr Emma Cave, Director of Research, Durham Law School, this was a multidisciplinary symposium for 20 participants to discuss current laws governing compulsory treatment for mental disorder in children and young people and their effects. The event was co-funded by Durham CELLS and the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Well-being.

Wandering Irish: Irish Migration, Mental Illness and Crime in Nineteenth-Century Lancashire

HSTM Seminar Group, UCLA, 17 March 2015

Professor Hilary Marland presented at a seminar held on 17 March 2015, hosted by the History of Science, Medicine and Technology group at UCLA on ‘Wandering Irish: Irish Migration, Mental Illness and Crime in Nineteenth-Century Lancashire’. The paper bridged the previous project led by Catherine Cox and Hilary Marland on Irish migration to Lancashire in the nineteenth century and high incidences of mental illness and asylum confinement with their new research on the association of the Irish with crime and the prison system in Lancashire, demonstrating the complex career pathways of asylum patients through other institutions, including prisons.

January 2015

Appointments

Nicholas Duvall

Dr Nicholas Duvall joined the project on a two-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship based at the University of Warwick. In addition to his research on the project theme of the prison and mental health, Nicholas will also undertake work on the history of the penal medical service.

Fiachra Byrne

Dr Fiachra Byrne commenced in post at University College Dublin on a three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, working on the mental health of children and juveniles in custody.

New Directions in Penal History: Comparative and Global Perspective

IHR Panel, 29 January 2015

Hilary Marland co-presented with Professor Clare Anderson at an IHR panel on ‘New Directions in Penal History: Comparative and Global Perspectives’ in the series ‘Reconfiguring the British: Nation, Empire, World, 1600-2000 on 29 January 2015. Her talk on ‘Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000’ offered an introduction to the project and its team, focusing on the mental health strand and opening up a comparison of views on the operation of the separate system in England and Ireland and their association with the mental breakdown of prisoners. About 40 people attended what was a lively session and debate, and also led to plans for future collaboration between Clare Anderson (University of Leicester, convict prisons) and our project team.

Project Meeting

University College Dublin, 23 January 2015

The first project meeting took place in Dublin on 23 January 2015.

October 2014

Start of project

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