Dr Alison Haggett

Research interests

I am currently working on Professor Mark Jackson's Wellcome-Trust funded project: Lifestyle, health and disease: the history of the concept of balance in modern medicine.  Specifically, my remit is to investigate the concept of 'balance' in relation to scientific and clinical accounts and patient experiences of coping with mental illness.  

I have recently completed a Wellcome Trust funded project on masculinity and health since the Second World War. Its broad remit was threefold. Firstly, it uncovered the ways in which constructions of masculinity impacted upon patterns of psychological and psychosomatic illness amongst men. Secondly, it explored the relationship between notions of masculinity and men's willingness to report symptoms; and thirdly, it examined attitudes of clinicians and their approaches to treating men.  The findings from this project will be published in a forthcoming monograph entitled, A History of Male Psychological Disorders in Britain 1945-1980 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

I have a strong interest in making my research accessible to a wider audience and I am currently working with a wide range of clinicians and academics in the field of men's mental health.  I have also recently co-authored an online 'continuing professional development' module for the Royal College of Psychiatrists on the social history of mental illness and how attitudes towards it are influenced by broader societal factors.

I am also a keen oral historian and have undertaken two significant oral history projects - one with women who had experience of depression and anxiety during the 1960s, the other with retired general practitioners.  Along with a colleague Wendy Rickard, I have recently launched the University of Exeter Oral History Network which meets regularly for seminars and workshops.