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Dr Janet Weston

BA MA MSc PhD

Assistant Professor

Room
209

LSHTM
15-17 Tavistock Place
London
WC1H 9SH
United Kingdom

I studied English Literature as an undergraduate, and then worked in the charity sector while studying for an MA in Contemporary Literature and an MSc in the history of science and medicine in the evenings. I then left my day job in 2012 to try academia full-time, undertaking a PhD in History at Birkbeck, University of London. My PhD examined medical explanations and treatments for sexual offenders over the 20th century, and formed the basis of my first book, Medicine, the Penal System, and Sexual Crime in England 1919-1960s (Bloomsbury, 2017).

To my surprise, this led to something like a research career: I joined the Centre for History in Public Health at LSHTM in 2016 as a Research Fellow on 'Prisoners, medical care, and entitlement to health in England and ireland, 1850-2000', focusing on responsees to HIV/AIDS in prisons in the 1980s and 1990s. I then held a Wellcome Trust Fellowship (2018-2021), to investigate the history of the medico-legal concept of mental incapacity in England over the twentieth century, and particularly the history of what is now the Court of Protection. One highlight of this was the production of two short films, bringing to life the stories of women found 'incapable of managing their affairs' in the 1930s. which you can watch here.

My current project, also funded by the Wellcome Trust, is entitled 'Ethics and British public health law, 1920-2020'. This will run from 2021 to 2025. I am also very interested in the role of the humanities in public health.

Affiliations

Department of Public Health, Environments and Society
Faculty of Public Health and Policy

Teaching

Health & History

Principles of Social Research

Research

'Ethics and British public health law, 1920-2020'.

As well as investigating the changing role and nature of ethics within British public health law, this will develop the public health humanities as a mode of designing and implementing interdisciplinary research in public health. 

Having worked on histories of prison medicine, forensic psychiatry, HIV/AIDS, and mental illness, I am interested in historical perspectives on deviance and difference, crime and punishment, law and policy, care, vulnerability, and ethics, particularly in relation to mental health, gender, sexuality, age, and disability. I am interested in supervising doctoral candidates in any of these areas.

Research Area
Ageing
Public health
Public health history
Discipline
History
Socio-legal studies
Law
Disease and Health Conditions
HIV/AIDS
Mental health
Disability
Addiction
Region
Euro area

Selected Publications

History in Public: Power and Process, Harm and Help
Romein CA; Doak L; Parker H; Weston J
2022
History: the journal of the Historical Association
Legal Sources in the History of Psychiatry
Weston J
2022
Sources in the History of Psychiatry, from 1800 to the Present
Looking after Miss Alexander: care, mental capacity, and the Court of Protection in mid-twentieth century England
Weston J
2022
Responding to HIV/AIDS in European prisons, 1980s-2000
Weston J
2022
Histories of HIV/AIDS in Western Europe: new and regional perspectives
The epidemic that changed Britain
Weston J
2021
BBC History Magazine
Medicine, the Penal System and Sexual Crimes in England, 1919-1960s: Diagnosing Deviance
Weston J
2017
See more Publications