Dr Steffan Blayney
BA, MSt, PhD
Department of History
Wellcome Trust Research Fellow
Full contact details
Department of History
I joined the Department of History in 2018, after researching and teaching at Birkbeck, Kent and Sussex.
- BA History, University of Oxford
- Mst Modern British & European History, University of Oxford
- PhD History, Birkbeck, University of London
- Research interests
I am interested in the relations between health, the body and capitalism in modern and contemporary Britain, and in histories of activism and radical left politics.
My doctoral research looked at the ‘science of work’ in Britain from 1870-1939, and the consolidation in this period of a model of health centred on the concept of efficiency.
My thesis was awarded the 2018 Constance Coiner Award for Best Dissertation by the Working-Class Studies Association.
I also worked a researcher on two AHRC-funded projects – 'You Can't Move History. You Can Secure the Future': Engaging Youth in Cultural Heritage’ & ‘You Can Make History: Extending and Developing Youth Engagement in Cultural Heritage’ – exploring the campaign to protect the ‘Undercroft’ skateboarding spot at London’s Southbank.
My current project looks at mental health activism, anti-capitalism and the radical left in Britain from 1956 to the present day.
I am interested in the politics of mental health liberation, the emergence of the modern psychiatric survivor movement, and the relationships between survivor-led activism, anti-psychiatry and the organised left.
- Industrial fatigue and the productive body : the science of work in Britain, c. 1900–1918. Social History of Medicine, 32(2), 310-328. View this article in WRRO
- "Drooping with the century": fatigue and the fin de siècle In Dickson M, Taylor-Brown E & Shuttleworth S (Ed.), Progress and Pathology: Medicine and Culture in the Nineteenth Century (pp. 153-172). Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- Making the Body Productive/Making “the Body” Productive In Jajszczok J & Musiał A (Ed.), The Body in History, Culture, and the Arts (pp. 55-68). New York & London: Routledge.
- Unstable histories. Radical Philosophy, 2(07), 104-107.
- A streetcar named expertise. The Political Quarterly, 90(4), 820-822.
- Unrealistic realists. The Political Quarterly, 90(1), 162-163.
- Book Review: Chris Millard, A History of Self-Harm in Britain: A Genealogy of Cutting and Overdosing. History of Psychiatry, 28(3), 381-382.
Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Research Fellowship: ‘Agitations: mental health activism, anti-capitalism and the radical left in Britain since 1956’.
- Teaching activities
- HST6073: Medical Humanity? Medicine and Identity
- Professional activities
I am a co-founder and organiser of History Acts, a radical history workshop and network connecting activists and historians.
I was an organiser of The Body Productive conference on capitalism, work and the body and I am also a member of the Social History Society and the Oral History Society, and a member of the Raphael Samuel History Centre team.