People

Professor Tracey Loughran

Professor
School of Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies
Professor Tracey Loughran
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 873954

  • Location

    6.146, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Tuesdays, 12.30-1.30pm via Zoom (24 April-12 May): https://essex-university.zoom.us/j/96658932017. If you are unable to make these times, please email to arrange a separate appointment.

Profile

Biography

Whether we realise it or not, history is part of our everyday lives. We try to understand ourselves by thinking about our personal pasts, our families, and where we grew up, as well as what we are doing now. We can better understand the world around us by learning about the pasts of our societies and cultures. For me, this means trying to understand why some people hold power and others do not, and the factors that influence people's abilities to take action. These factors include our feelings and self-perceptions, and the ideas we have about our place in the world. As a historian, then, I am interested in what past people thought and felt, how they saw the world, and how these thoughts, feelings, and ideas affected their capacity to change the world around them. In practice, this means I am interested in a lot of things. My research mainly explores experiences of gender, body, and selfhood in twentieth-century Britain. I am currently finishing a major project on women's experiences of 'everyday health' in Britain from 1960-1990 (Wellcome Trust funded, 2017-2022). This project generated over ninety oral history interviews that will be archived at the British Library. The findings will be published in a monograph co-authored with Kate Mahoney and Daisy Payling (2025). I am also working on three other publications: an edited collection on imagination in historical research (with Mark Williams); an edited collection on age in history (with David Doddington); and the second edition of my edited collection A Practical Guide to Studying History (Bloomsbury, 2017), which helps students make the transition from further education to studying history at university. I enjoy working collaboratively. Building research relationships, learning from other scholars, and working out how we can support each other is central to my practice as a historian and my sense of self. Over the course of my career, I've spent a lot of time running workshops and conferences, setting up research clusters and networks, designing and convening team-taught modules and interdisciplinary degree programmes, and (less excitingly) sitting on committees. Some of these activities added tangible items to my CV, but a lot were simply about trying something new, expressing and satisfying curiosity, and finding out about other people's research and ways of doing things. My proudest achievement is probably co-founding and leading, with Phil Ward, the Eastern ARC Mentoring Scheme. This programme partners mentors and mentees across three institutions. It is non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, and depends entirely on the goodwill, openness, and willingness of everyone involved to share their knowledge and experience. The scheme couldn't exist without people who believe in our ability to learn from each other, and who are willing to give their time and energy to make things better for other people - every year that it runs, I'm reminded that no matter what is going on in the headlines, there are a still lot of good people in the world.

Qualifications

  • 2006: PhD in History: 'Shell-Shock in First World War Britain: An Intellectual and Medical History, c. 1860-1920'. Queen Mary, University of London.

  • 2002: MA in Intellectual and Cultural History, Queen Mary, University of London.

  • 2001: BA (Hons), History, Queen Mary, University of London.

Appointments

University of Essex

  • Professor of History, History, University of Essex (1/10/2019 - present)

Other academic

  • Professor in History, History, University of Essex (1/10/2019 - present)

  • Reader in History, History, University of Essex (17/7/2017 - 30/9/2019)

  • Senior Lecturer, History, Cardiff University (1/9/2014 - 16/7/2017)

  • Lecturer, History, Cardiff University (1/9/2008 - 31/8/2014)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

History of gender

Open to supervise

History of psychology and psychoanalysis

Open to supervise

History of subjectivity

Open to supervise

History of war and trauma

Open to supervise

Historiography and historical theory

Conferences and presentations

Rethinking and Reframing the 'Everyday': New Approaches to Women's Health in Britain, 1960-1990

Society for the Social History of Medicine Biennial Conference, Conformity, Resistance, Dialogue and Deviance in Health and Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 13/7/2018

Mediating Emotion, Making Trauma: Doctors, Patients and the Construction of "Shell-Shock" in First World War Britain

Invited presentation, Uncovering Civilian War Trauma among Female Belgian Refugees in Scotland During the First World War Workshop Series, Glasgow, United Kingdom, 13/10/2017

Blind Spots and Moments of Estrangement: Subjectivity, Class and Education in British Autobiographical Histories, Senses, Emotions and the Affective Turn: International Society for Cultural History Annual Conference, Umeå University, Sweden, June 2017.

Umeå, Sweden, 2017

Shell-Shock, Scientific Story-Telling, and Emotion: Changes in Medical Writing and in Doctor-Patient Relationships in First World War Britain, Doctor, Doctor: Global and Historical Perspectives on the Doctor-Patient Relationship, Oxford University, March 2017.

Oxford, United Kingdom, 2017

Case A1. Private, 24 Years of Age: Individuals, Emotions and Scientific Story-Telling. Keynote lecture, War & Emotions symposium, Melbourne Museum, 17-18 September 2015.

Melbourne, Australia, 2015

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.

Cambridge, United Kingdom, 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.

Institute of Historical Research, London, United Kingdom, 2015

Animal Bodies: Biology, Trauma and Shell-Shock in First World War Britain, Royal Historical Society Symposium, Conflict in Historical Perspective, January 2015.

2015

Emotion, Character and Self-Control: Shell-Shock, the First World War, and Medical Understandings of Human Nature, History Research Seminar, Essex University, November 2014.

Colchester, United Kingdom, 2014

Divided Selves: Graham Greene and Psychoanalysis in Interwar Britain, Graham Greene International Festival, September 2014.

Berkhamsted, United Kingdom, 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.

Nijmegen, Netherlands, 2013

Minding the Gap: History in Practice and Approaches to First Year Undergraduate Learning, Teaching History in Higher Education, Higher Education Academys 15th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference for Historians in Higher Education, September 2013.

York, United Kingdom, 2013

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.

Oxford, United Kingdom, 2013

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.

London, United Kingdom, 1970

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Rebellious Pasts: Challenging and Creating Histories (HR173)

  • Exploring History: Research Workshop (HR242)

  • History Works: Career Portfolio (HR510)

  • Research Project (HR831)

  • Dissertation (HR931)

  • Making History, Sharing History: Sources, Methods, and Audiences for Historical Research (HR935)

  • Archives and Power (HR949)

  • War and Memory: Remembering, Commemorating, and Contesting the Past (HR970)

  • Advanced Research Project (HR932)

Previous supervision

Hannah Jane Froom
Hannah Jane Froom
Thesis title: Menstruation, Subjectivity and Constructions of Girlhood in Britain, 1960-1980
Degree subject: History
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 5/7/2022

Publications

Journal articles (9)

Loughran, T., Mahoney, K. and Payling, D., (2022). Women’s voices, emotion and empathy: engaging different publics with ‘everyday’ health histories. Medical Humanities. 48 (4), 394-403

Payling, D. and Loughran, T., (2022). Nude Bodies in British Women’s Magazines at the Turn of the 1970s: Agency, Spectatorship, and the Sexual Revolution. Social History of Medicine. 35 (4), 1356-1385

Loughran, T., Mahoney, K. and Payling, D., (2022). Reflections on Remote Interviewing in a Pandemic: Negotiating Participant and Researcher Emotions. Oral History. 50 (1), 37-48

Loughran, T., (2022). Sex, relationships and 'everyday psychology' on British magazine problem pages, c. 1960-1990.. Medical Humanities. 49 (2), 203-213

Loughran, TL., (2013). A crisis of masculinity? Re-writing the history of shell-shock and gender in First World War Britain. History Compass. 11 (9), 727-738

Loughran, T., (2013). Teaching and Learning Guide for: A Crisis of Masculinity? Re‐writing the History of Shell‐shock and Gender in First World War Britain. History Compass. 11 (12), 1088-1093

Loughran, TL., (2012). 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), 94-119

Loughran, TL., (2009). Shell-shock and psychological medicine in First World War Britain. Social History of Medicine. 22 (1), 79-95

Loughran, TL., (2008). Hysteria and neurasthenia in pre-1914 British medical discourse and in histories of shell-shock. History of Psychiatry. 19 (1), 25-46

Books (6)

Boncori, I. and Loughran, T., (2020). Health and Wellbeing - The University of Essex Reader. Editoriale Scientifica. 978-88-9391-663-9

Loughran, T., (2018). Emotion and the Researcher Sites, Subjectivities, and Relationships. Emerald Group Publishing. 178714612X. 9781787146129

Loughran, T. and Mannay, D., (2018). Introduction: Why Emotion Matters. Emerald Publishing Limited

Loughran, T. and Mannay, D., (2018). Afterword. Emerald Publishing Limited. 9781787146129

Loughran, TL., (2017). Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain. Cambridge University Press. 9781316415672

Davis, G. and Loughran, T., (2017). The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan. 1137520795. 9781137520791

Book chapters (11)

Loughran, T., (2020). Distance, intimacy and identification: Reflections on writing a history of trauma. In: Museums, History and the Intimate Experience of the Great War: Love and Sorrow. 136- 150. 9780367487546

Loughran, T., (2019). ‘Must Try Harder’: Anxiety, Self-Shaping and Structures of Feeling, Then and Now. In: Clever Girls Autoethnographies of Class, Gender and Ethnicity. Editors: Goode, J., . Palgrave Macmillan. 215- 236. 9783030296575

Loughran, T., (2018). Blind Spots and Moments of Estrangement: Subjectivity, Class and Education in British 'Autobiographical Histories'. In: Emotion and the Researcher: Sites, Subjectivities and Relationships. Editors: Loughran, T. and Mannay, D., . Emerald Group Publishing. 245- 259. 978-1-78714-612-9

Loughran, TL., (2017). Conditions of Illusion: Agency, Feminism, and Cultural Representations of Infertility in Britain, c. 1960-80. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. Editors: Loughran, T. and Davis, G., . Palgrave Macmillan. 431- 459. 978-1-137-52080-7

Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., (2017). Introduction: Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. Editors: Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., . Palgrave Macmillan. 1- 35. 1137520795. 978-1137520791

Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., (2017). Introduction: The Body Politic and the Infertile Body. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. Editors: Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., . Palgrave Macmillan. 143- 149. 1137520795. 978-1137520791

Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., (2017). Introduction: Defining the 'Problem': Perspectives on Infertility. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. Editors: Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., . Palgrave Macmillan. 29- 35. 1137520795. 978-1137520791

Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., (2017). Introduction: Situating Infertility in Medicine. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. Editors: Loughran, TL., . Palgrave Macmillan. 265- 271. 1137520795. 978-1137520791

Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., (2017). Introduction: Agency and Invisibility in Constructions of Infertility. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. Editors: Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., . Palgrave Macmillan. 385- 391. 1137520795. 978-1137520791

Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., (2017). Introduction: Reproductive Technologies and Imagined Futures. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Infertility in History: Approaches, Contexts and Perspectives. Editors: Loughran, TL. and Davis, G., . Palgrave Macmillan. 539- 544. 1137520795. 978-1137520791

Loughran, TL., (2016). Landscape for a good woman's weekly: finding magazines in post-war British history and culture. In: Women in Magazines: Research, Representation, Production and Consumption. Editors: Ritchie, R., Hawkins, S., Phillips, N. and Kleinberg, SJ., . Routledge. 40- 52. 9781138824027

Grants and funding

2017

Body, Self and Family: Women's Psychological, Emotional and Bodily Health in Britain, c. 1960-1990

Wellcome Trust

Body, Self and Family: Women's Psychological, Emotional and Bodily Health in Britain, c1960-1990

British Academy

Body, Self and Family: Women�s Psychological, Emotional and Bodily Health in Britain, c. 1960-1990

Wellcome Trust

1900

Body, Self and Family: Women�s Psychological, Emotional and Bodily Health in Britain, c 1960-1990

Wellcome Trust

Contact

t.loughran@essex.ac.uk
+44 (0) 1206 873954

Location:

6.146, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Tuesdays, 12.30-1.30pm via Zoom (24 April-12 May): https://essex-university.zoom.us/j/96658932017. If you are unable to make these times, please email to arrange a separate appointment.