Dr Tracey Loughran

Dr Tracey Loughran

Senior Lecturer in Medical History

School of History, Archaeology and Religion


I was employed at Cardiff University between 2008-2017. In July 2017 I left to take up the post of Deputy Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Essex. If you would like to know more about my research or teaching, including the edited volume A Practical Guide to Studying History: Skills and Approaches (Bloomsbury, 2017), please contact me at t.loughran@essex.ac.uk.

I am a historian of twentieth-century Britain, with particular interests in the interaction of ideas and experiences of body, mind and self. My research centres on how knowledge is constructed, ‘translated’ and transformed across different disciplines and in different contexts. This thread connects my diverse research projects on 'shell-shock' in First World War Britain, psychoanalysis in the interwar period, and female bodily experiences, psychological subjectivities and familial relationships in postwar Britain. I am also interested in historical theory and the methodological challenges that researching subjectivity poses. I am committed to furthering interdisciplinary research, and I was a founding member of Cardiff University's Families, Identities and Gender Research Network (http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/fig/contact-us/).



  • Tracey Loughran and Dawn Mannay (eds), Emotion and the Researcher: Sites, Subjectivities and Relationships (Emerald, forthcoming 2018). Includes sole-authored chapter, 'Blind Spots and Moments of Estrangement: Subjectivity, Class and Education in British "Autobiographical Histories"'.
  • Gayle Davis and Tracey Loughran (eds), A Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts,
    Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Includes sole-authored chapter, 'Conditions of Illusion: Agency, Feminism and Cultural Representations of Infertility in Britain, c. 1960-1980'.
  • Editor, A Practical Guide to Studying History: Skills and Approaches (Bloomsbury Academic,
    January 2017). Includes sole-authored chapters on 'Historical Novels' and 'Reading and Writing History'.
  • Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Articles and book chapters

  • 'Landscape for a Good Woman's Weekly: Finding Magazines in Postwar British History and Culture', in
    Rachel Ritchie, Sue Hawkins, Nicola Phillips and S. Jay Kleinberg (eds), Women in Magazines: Research,
    Representation, Production and Consumption (Routledge, 2016).
  • ‘Teaching and Learning Guide: A Crisis of Masculinity? Re-writing the History of Shell-shock and Gender in
    First World War Britain’, History Compass, 11:12 (December 2013).
  • ‘A Crisis of Masculinity? Re-writing the History of Shell-shock and Gender in First World
    War Britain’, History Compass, 11:9 (September 2013).
  • ‘Shell-shock, Trauma and the First World War: the Making of a Diagnosis and its Histories’, Journal of the
    History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 67:1 (January 2012).
  • ‘Shell-shock and British Psychological Medicine’, Social History of Medicine, 22:1 (April 2009).
  • ‘Hysteria and Neurasthenia in Pre-war Medical Discourse and in Histories of Shell-shock’, History of
    Psychiatry, 19:3 (March 2008).
  • ‘Evolution, Regression, and Shell-shock: Emotion and Instinct in Theories of the War Neuroses, c.1914-
    1918’, Manchester Papers in Economic and Social History, 58 (September 2007).

Book reviews

Career overview

  • 2017 - present: Reader in History/ Deputy Dean of Research, Faculty of Humanities, University of Essex
  • 2013 - 2017: Senior Lecturer in Medical History, Department of History, Cardiff University.
  • 2008 - 2013: Lecturer in Medical History, Department of History, Cardiff University.
  • 2007 - 2008: Economic and Social Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester.
  • 2006 - 2007: Teaching Fellow, School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester.
  • 2005 - 2006:  Scouloudi Fellow, Institute of Historical Research.  

Education and qualifications

  • 2002 - 2006: PhD in History: 'Shell-shock in First World War Britain: an intellectual and medical history, c. 1860-1920'. Queen Mary, University of London.
  • 2001 - 2002: MA in Intellectual and Cultural History, Queen Mary, University of London.
  • 1998 - 2001: BA (Hons), History, Queen Mary, University of London.

Honours and awards

  • 2016: Nominated for Enriching Student Life Awards.
  • 2014: Article on ‘Shell-shock, Trauma and the First World War: the Making of a Diagnosis and its Histories’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 67:1 (January 2012). Selected for OUP WWI-themed special open-access journal resource: http://www.oxfordjournals.org/subject/humanities/wwi-collection.html. 
  • 2012: Rising Star Award, Cardiff University’s Celebrating Excellence Awards.

Research funding 

  • 2016: British Academy/ Leverhulme Trust Small Grant, 'Body, Self & Family: Women's Bodily, Emotional and Psychological Health in Britain, 1960-1990'.
  • 2015: Collaborator, ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre Interdisciplinary Collaborative Grant for interdisciplinary training workshops for PhD students on 'Constructing and Deconstructing Selfhood' (main applicant Dr Katherine Shelton, PSYCH, Cardiff University).
  • 2014: Harry Ransom Center Research Fellowship supported by the C.P. Snow Memorial Fund, 'Graham  Greene, Psychoanalysis, and Popular Culture in Interwar Britain'.
  • 2013: Royal Historical Society Conference Organsation Grant. 
  • 2013: Collaborator, Wellcome Trust Conference Grant, 'Infertility in History, Science and Culture', July 2013 (main applicant Dr Gayle Davis, University of Edinburgh).
  • 2010: British Academy Small Grant, 'Women, Health and Medicine in Print Culture, 1960-1980. 
  • 2007: Economic and Social Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship.
  • 2005: Scouloudi Fellowship, Institute of Historical Research.
  • 2002: Arts and Humanities Research Council PhD Studentship. 
  • 2001: Arts and Humanities Research Council Masters Studentship.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Member of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.
  • Member of the AHRC Peer Review College.
  • External Examiner, M.Sc in War and Psychiatry, King’s College London.
  • Member of Pearson Edexcel History A-Level Qualification External Stakeholder Group.

During my time at Cardiff University I contributed to teaching across the degree programme. The following modules will no longer run:

  • Managing the Mind: Psychiatry, Psychology and British Culture, 1800-2000 (Year 2)
  • Gender, Power and Subjectivity in Twentieth-Century Britain (Year 3)
  • Class, Culture and Community in Britain, 1945-1970 (MA)
  • Self and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain (MA)

I also supervised postgraduate (taught and research) students in a range of topics related to gender, identity, and health. If you are considering postgraduate study and would like to know more about my areas of expertise, please contact me at the University of Essex: t.loughran@essex.ac.uk.

Current projects

  • Body, Self and Family: Women’s Psychological, Emotional and Bodily Health in Britain, c. 1960-1990
  • Emotion and the Researcher
  • Graham Greene and Psychoanalysis in Interwar Britain

Conference papers and lectures (since 2010)

Invited papers

  • ‘“Case A1. Private, 24 Years of Age”: Individuals, Emotions and Scientific Story-Telling’. Keynote lecture, War &
    Emotions symposium, Melbourne Museum, 17-18 September 2015.
  • ‘Feminism, Femininity, and (In)Fertility: Popular Discourses on Gender and Reproduction in 1970s
    Britain and Beyond’, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine History Centre Seminar Series,
    January 2015.
  • ‘Animal Bodies: Biology, Trauma and “Shell-shock” in First World War Britain’, Royal Historical Society
    Symposium, Conflict in Historical Perspective, January 2015.
    Page 3 of 5.
  • ‘Emotion, “Character” and Self-Control: “Shell-Shock”, the First World War, and Medical Understandings
    of “Human Nature”’, History Research Seminar, Essex University, November 2014.
  • ‘Divided Selves: Graham Greene and Psychoanalysis in Interwar Britain’, Graham Greene International
    Festival, September 2014.
  •  ‘”You are a hero”: Masculinity and Will in British Medical Discourse on Shell-shock, c. 1914-1920’, History of Psychiatry Seminar, Oxford Brookes University, February 2013.
  • ‘“The most helpful friends in the world”: Health Advice and Information in Woman Magazine in the 1960s’, History Seminar, University of Reading, February 2011.


  • ‘Biology, Trauma and History: “Shell-shock” in British Medical Literature and Fiction, c. 1914-1930’, Biological Discourses: The Language of Science and Literature around 1900 Conference, University of Cambridge, April 2015.
  • ‘Graham Greene, Psychoanalysis and the “Modern” in Interwar Britain’, Being Modern: Science and Culture in the Early 20th Century Conference, Institute of Historical Research, April 2015.
  • ‘Blind Spots and Moments of Estrangement: Revealed and Concealed Subjects’, Emotion and the Researcher Workshop, Cardiff University, March 2014.
  • ‘Constructing and Re-constructing Trauma: Psychological Medicine and the Creation and Transformation of Discursive Communities, c. 1914-1945’, (Re)Constructing Communities in Europe, 1918-1968 Conference, Radbourd University Nijmegen, Netherlands, December 2013.
  • ‘Minding the Gap: History in Practice and Approaches to First Year Undergraduate Learning’, Teaching History in Higher Education, Higher Education Academy’s 15th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference for Historians in Higher Education, September 2013.
  • ‘Landscape for a Good Woman’s Weekly: Finding Magazines in British History and Culture, c. 1950-1980’, Women in Magazines Conference, Kingston University, June 2012.
  • ‘“Incomplete women”? Feminism, Infertility, and Popular Women’s Magazines in Britain, c. 1960-1980’, Families, Identities and Gender Research Network Symposium, Cardiff University, November 2011.
  • ‘The Right to Choose? Infertility, Feminism, and Popular Medical Discourses in 1970s Britain’, Body and Mind in the History of Medicine and Health, European Association for the History of Medicine and Health Bi-annual Conference, Utrecht, September 2011.
  • ‘Woman-to-Woman: Gender, Expertise, and Care-giving in 1960s British Women’s Magazines’, For Love or Money? Historical Perspectives on Gender and Emotional Labour, West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network Conference, University of the West of England, July 2011.
  • ‘Bloody Women: Rejections and Reclamations of Menstruation in 1970s British Feminism’, Politics and Practices: the History of Post-war Women’s Health Conference, Centre for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Manchester, October 2010

Conference and seminar organisation

  • 2014 - present: Co-convener, Work-in-Porgress Seminar, History Department, Cardiff University.
  • 2014 - 2015: Convener, Early Career Research Circle, History Department, Cardiff University.
  • 2014: Co-convener, Gender, Generation and the Body: West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network 21st Annual Conference, Cardiff University.
  • 2013: Co-convenor, ‘Infertility in History, Science and Culture’, international conference, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2010 - present: Co-founder and convenor, Families, Identities and Gender Research Network, Cardiff University. Interdisciplinary research network based in the Schools of History, Archaeology and Religion; English, Communication and Philosophy; Social Sciences; and Psychology.

Impact and engagement activities

  • March 2014: BBC iWonder web guide, ‘Did Craiglockhart Hospital Revolutionise Mental Healthcare?’ Script editor and author of web essay.
  • February 2014: Cardiff BookTalk, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
  • November 2013: ‘What Does “Everyday Healthcare” Mean?
  • November 2012: ‘The Popularity of Historical Fiction’: panel member, Novel Approaches: From Academic History to Historical Fiction Conference, Institute of Historical Research.
  • November 2010: ‘The Family Story and Oral History’: leader of open workshop as part of free one-day community event Life Stories held at St Fagan’s National History Museum.
  • May 2010: ‘History, Trauma, and The Hurt Locker (dir. Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)’, SciScreen Cardiff.
  • Janury 2010: ‘Wibble! From Blackadder to Regeneration: Changing Meanings of Shell-shock in History and Popular Culture’. Public lecture, Humanities Forum Lecture Series, Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning.
  • October 2008: Introductory speaker, book launch for Michèle Barrett, Casualty Figures: How Five Men Survived the First World War, Bishopsgate Institute, London.