< Back to Events

Emotions in Modern British History Lunchtime Seminar: Andrew Seaton ‘Emotion on the Ward: Making Social Democracy in the Early National Health Service’

Wednesday 18th October, 2017

1pm, 2.17 Arts Two, QMUL

Our first lunchtime seminar this semester will be delivered by Andrew Seaton (NYU) and chaired by Helen McCarthy (QMUL). Andrew’s paper is titled ‘Emotion on the Ward: Making Social Democracy in the Early National Health Service’. No need to book. Lunch provided.

Abstract: In July 2018, the National Health Service (NHS) will celebrate its seventieth ‘birthday’. NHS surgeries, clinics, and hospitals, in every town and city across Britain, are a testament to enduring postwar social democratic ideals. But why does nationalised medicine still stand when other parts of the universalist welfare state crumbled? This paper addresses this question by considering the making of social democracy on hospital wards in the 1940s-1960s. Following the experience of one patient in a maternity hospital, I explore the changing emotional dynamics of being hospitalised in postwar Britain. While anger, anxiety, and frustration posed a significant threat to the fledgling NHS, affection and communal bonds between patients and staff made possible its longer survival.

The talk will take place in room 2.17, Arts Two, Mile End Campus, London E1 4NS. For directions to Mile End and a campus map, see bit.ly/QMcampusmap.

Other papers in this series include:

1pm, 22nd November: James Southern ‘The ‘Spotting a Homosexual Checklist’: Masculinity, Homosexuality, and the British Foreign Office, 1965-1991’.

4pm, 6th December: Helen McCarthy ‘Graduate Mothers and Emotional Labour in 1960s Britain’.

See our events programme for more information.