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Current and past projects in History of Medicine in Ireland

Bad Bridget: Criminal and Deviant Irish Women in North America, 1838-1918

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, this exciting three-year project lead by Dr Leanne McCormick (Ulster University) and Elaine Farrell (Queen’s University Belfast) focuses on the sexually deviant woman, the bad mother and the criminal Irish woman in Boston, New York and Toronto. In year 2, Leanne Calvert was appointed as PDRA on the project.

The project seeks to explore how and in what ways Irishwomen were sexually deviant. We will consider the role of women in the sale of sex, as prostitutes, as brothel-keepers, and otherwise.

Temperance and Alcohol in Belfast

Dr Gillian McIntosh leads this project which is focused on the archives of the Irish Temperance League to examine the history of the organisation, to provide a greater understanding of their archival collection in historical context. Further research on women and alcohol in Belfast is being carried out by Dr Leanne McCormick.

Hunger Strikes and Medical Ethics

This research project is headed by Dr Ian Miller, it will will explore twentieth-century prison hunger striking from bioethical perspectives with a particular emphasis on prisoner experiences and the complex role of prison medical staff. He will critically examine the evolution and emergence of bioethical policies on hunger strike management that ultimately resulted in forcible feeding being cast as unethical in the Tokyo Convention of 1975. This historical analysis will be used to inform current debates about the re-emergence of forcible feeding at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.