"Even today, women are still often the providers of 'everyday healthcare' to their children and, increasingly, to their ageing parents," said Dr Loughran.
"But despite the mass of material on health and medicine, it can be difficult for historians to access the experiences of 'ordinary' women, particularly their feelings about very private matters, or those aspects of life that are taken for granted and so rarely recorded.
"It's also relatively unusual for historians to look at the lives of different groups of women – straight and gay, black and white, young and old – alongside each other."
The Wellcome Trust award will fund Dr Loughran, two postdoctoral research assistants, and a PhD studentship. Dr Loughran’s team will conduct 50 oral history interviews and consult little-used oral history archives. They will also look at mass-market and feminist publications and archival material on feminist, gay and black activism.
"In this project, we will try to understand intersecting experiences of sexuality, ethnicity, class, and age, by looking at a really diverse range of evidence."
Dr Loughran aims to answer questions such as:
How were sweeping social and cultural shifts experienced by individuals?
In what ways did these shifts alter women’s emotional wellbeing and their relationships to their bodies?
How did these experiences differ by age, class, ethnicity and sexuality?