We Are Never Out of the Hands of Men: The Contagious Diseases Act

by | Apr 11, 2017

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Interviewee: Anne Hanley

Dr Anne Hanley is a historian and lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London. She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and, before joining Birkbeck, was a Junior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Dr Anne Hanley's research spans the history of sexuality, sexual health and British social life across the last two-hundred years. But her current project specifically explores social and cultural attitudes towards, and political and medical interventions in, sexual health in Britain from the end of the Great War to the beginning of the AIDS crisis. This work isn’t just historically interesting. It also has important policy implications for healthcare today. In addition to her teaching and research, she is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and sit on the Executive Committee of the Society for the Social History of Medicine. She is also also a historical consultant for TV and Radio.

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Interviewer: Kira Allmann

Kira Allmann is the OxHRH Communications Director and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. Her current research focuses on digital inequality, exploring community-driven grassroots solutions to closing the digital divide. She leads several research projects, using ethnographic methods to study the role of community-owned internet networks, local digital skills training, and public internet access points in promoting digital inclusion. Kira is also a research partner of the Whose Knowledge? campaign, which works to center the knowledge of marginalized communities on the web. She completed her DPhil in Oriental Studies (Islamic World) at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and also holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies (University of Oxford) and a B.A. in Government and Linguistics (The College of William and Mary).

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In the 19th century, the Contagious Diseases Acts were passed in the UK and Ireland to curtail the spread of venereal disease among military personnel in certain cities. In this episode, we talk to Dr Anne Hanley, a Junior Research Fellow at New College, Oxford, about why this legislation had such a disproportionate effect on women and what we can learn from them today.

Produced by: Dr Kira Allmann
Interview(s) with: Dr Anne Hanley
Music by: Rosemary Allmann

Original release: 11 April 2017

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