Anne Hanley is a Lecturer in the History of Medicine at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research encompasses the social and political history of modern Britain and the social history of medicine. In addition to her research and scholarly publications, she acts as a historical consultant for the BBC and ITV and has written for The Guardian.
Attending the University of Sydney to study History and English Literature, Anne developed a keen interest in the clinical and cultural history of medicine. She believes that understanding how ideas of health and illness have changed over time according to shifting social norms, politics, religion and prejudices make us reflect more critically on present-day clinical and social responses to disease.
Anne applied to St Andrew’s on a recommendation from a friend. The College’s rich history and dynamic culture appealed to her and she reminisces Drew’s as a “wonderfully warm and welcoming place”. Heavily involved in DRAMSOC and Palladian, she was awarded many scholarships at St Andrew’s and says the College largely assisted with her move to Cambridge.
Living in College afforded great opportunities to cultivate friendships with students from many different backgrounds and academic disciplines.
In 2009, Anne received first-class honours and the University Medal in History for her thesis on the social and medical debates surrounding syphilis in late-nineteenth-century Britain from the University of Sydney. With support from the Cambridge Trust, she received a scholarship to begin her PhD at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. She was also awarded the competitive and prestigious Junior Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford.
If Anne could give any advice to current and prospective students, she would say:
Never let your talent and aspirations be overshadowed by other people’s narrow-mindedness, insecurities or bloated sense of entitlement. If you embrace the opportunities on offer, Drew’s will furnish you with the confidence, determination and perspective to achieve more than you thought possible.