Dr Janet Weston
BA MA MSc PhD
15-17 Tavistock Place
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).
This has 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 responses 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.
Health & History (intensive and distance learning)
Principles of Social 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.