Portrait of Dr Julie Anderson

Dr Julie Anderson



Dr Julie Anderson completed her undergraduate studies in Australia and came to Leicester where she finished her PhD in 2001. In that year, she was appointed to a Research Fellowship at the University of Manchester where she worked until 2009, when she was appointed Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern Medicine at the University of Kent.

Research interests

Julie's research interests cover the history of medicine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. She is particularly interested in the cultural and social history of physical disabilities and blindness, and is currently completing a monograph on a medical history of blindness 1900-1950. 

Julie also researches war and medicine and has just completed a monograph on rehabilitation in the Second World War. In addition, she has written on medical technologies, particularly those for people with disabilities. 

Julie has worked with a number of partners to promote awareness of the history of disability, including the Royal College of Physicians. She is Chair of the Disability History Group and also co-editor of a series on the history of disability with Manchester University Press.


Julie teaches on the history of medicine and, in particular, on medicine and its treatment of disability at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. 



  • Coughlan, B. et al. (2019). Attachment and autism spectrum conditions: Exploring Mary Main’s coding notes. Developmental Child Welfare [Online]:251610321881670. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/2516103218816707.
    Distinguishing autism spectrum behaviors from behaviors relating to disorganized attachment can be challenging. There is, for instance, a notable overlap between both conditions in terms of behaviors deemed stereotypical. In addition, there are also similarities regarding some atypical social overtures. Responding to this overlap has been the subject for much debate in the literature. Disorganized attachment was first introduced and conceptualized by the attachment researcher, Mary Main. Main is considered the leading authority on coding this phenomenon. During the course of archival research, we obtained Main’s notes on coding attachment in a group of 15 children with autism spectrum conditions (hereafter ASC). Drawing on these texts, this article explores Main’s reasoning when making distinctions between ASC and attachment at the behavioral level. Our approach is informed by Chang’s argument for the potential of “history as complementary science.” Analysis indicates that, for Main, frequency and timing were important differential factors when attributing a behavior to either ASC or the child’s attachment pattern.
  • Anderson, J. (2015). ‘Jumpy Stump’: Amputation and Trauma During the First World War. First World War Studies [Online] 6:9-19. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19475020.2015.1016581.
    This paper focuses on British soldier's experience of amputation, as it was one of the more common and physically traumatic experiences of war. This paper brings together not just the soldier's experience of the physical wounding of amputation, but the emotional experience of traumatic injury. Much of the historiography has separated the physical wound from emotional trauma, and this paper endeavours to bring them together. The experience of amputation and the emotions associated with recovery, fears about employment and loss of social status combined to create anxiety. Emotional reactions to amputation were understood to bring on conditions such as jumpy stump, as a manifestation of repressed trauma. Instead of rejecting this show of emotion as expressed by the stump, orthopaedic surgeons, in the main, accepted the reaction of the stump and worked with the patients to aid them in controlling this manifestation of trauma. In a similar vein to other non-specialists in psychiatry, orthopaedic surgeons in amputation hospitals diagnosed and devised their own methods for dealing with the mentally traumatic aspects of wounding. Healing wounds was of vital importance, and the stump and its repair remained the central focus. The manifestation of emotional trauma was treated as a side-effect of the physical injury, as the body was often more easily cured than the mind. The doctor and the patient's intimate relationship with the stump provided it with a wide range of meanings, constructions and representations.
  • Anderson, J. and Perry, H. (2014). Rehabilitation and restoration: Orthopaedics and Disabled Soldiers in Germany and Britain in the First World War. Medicine, Conflict and Survival [Online] 30:227-251. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13623699.2014.962724.
    This article offers a comparative analysis of the evolution of orthopaedics and rehabilitation within German and British military medicine during the Great War. In it, we reveal how the field of orthopaedics became integral to military medicine by tracing the evolution of the discipline and its practitioners in each nation during the war. In doing so, however, we document not only when and why both medical specialists and military officials realized that maintaining their respective national fighting forces depended upon the efficient rehabilitation of wounded soldiers, but also how these rehabilitative practices and goals reflected the particularities of the military context, civilian society and social structure of each nation. Thus, while our comparison reveals a number of similarities in the orthopaedic developments within each nation as a response to the Great War, we also reveal significant national differences in war-time medical goals, rehabilitation treatments and soldierly ‘medical experiences’. Moreover, as we demonstrate, a social and cultural re-conceptualization of the disabled body accompanied the medical advancements developed for him; however, this re-conceptualization was not the same in each nation. Thus, what our article reveals is that although the guns of August fell silent in 1918, the war’s medical experiences lingered long thereafter shaping the future of disability medicine in both nations.
  • Anderson, J. and Baker, R. (2013). Life Beyond Blindness: buildings for the war blinded. Conservation Bulletin [Online]:34-35. Available at: https://content.historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/conservation-bulletin-71/cb-71.pdf/.
  • Anderson, J. and Carden-Coyne, A. (2007). Introduction: Enabling the Past: New Perspectives in the History of Disability. European Review of History/Revue européenne d'histoire [Online] 14:447-457. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13507480701752102.
  • Anderson, J. and Pemberton, N. (2007). Walking alone: aiding the war and civilian blind in the inter-war period. European Review of History 14:459-479.
  • Anderson, J. (2007). Innovation and Locality: Hip Replacement in Manchester and the Northwest. Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester [Online] 87:155-166. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.7227/BJRL.87.1.9.
  • Anderson, J. (2006). British Women, Disability and the Second World War 1939-1946. Contemporary British History [Online] 20:37-53. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13619460500444957.
    This article examines the experience of disabled women during the Second World War. It details the ways in which women were disabled, how they were treated in the Services and the workplace, the processes of rehabilitation that were open to them and how they were catered for by central government. By looking at disabled women the article sheds light on one of the last understudied minorities in history, and seeks to add to the extensive historiography on women and war. The article concludes that disabled women had different wartime experiences to their male counterparts, but that they are a group that requires sustained future historical investigation.
  • Anderson, J. (2003). ”Turned into Taxpayers”: Paraplegia, Rehabilitation and Sport at Stoke Mandeville 1944-1956. Journal of Contemporary History [Online] 38:461-475. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022009403038003007.
    This article explores the links between rehabilitation practices and the aims of successive postwar British governments between 1944 and 1956. It focuses on the work at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury where rehabilitation centred around sporting activity. While games and sport were important at the hospital, they were seen more as a means to an end outside the gates of the institution. The focus for the state was labour and the article argues that the process of rehabilitation through sport was informed by the demands of central government and the desire to reduce the economic burden of numbers of permanently disabled people.


  • Anderson, J. (2011). War Disability and Rehabilitation in Britain: ‘Soul of a Nation’. Manchester University Press.
  • Barnes, E., Anderson, J. and Shackleton, E. (2011). The Art of Medicine. [Online]. Ilex Press. Available at: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/A/bo12273935.html.
    For thousands of years artists have played a special role in the human quest to understand anatomy, health and disease; this book celebrates their creativity and inquisitiveness using little-seen, stunning imagery from one of the worlds greatest collections. The Wellcome Collection is based on the enormous bequest left by pioneering pharmacist Sir Henry Wellcome (1853-1936). For many years, he travelled the globe, acquiring any kind of art or artefact with a bearing on health and medical treatment: the resulting collection everything from oil paintings, to dentures, scrolls, glass eyes and illuminated books numbers over a million pieces, and forms a unique history of humankinds growing understanding of ourselves and our world. Using a wealth of previously unseen images from the collection, and telling the fascinating story of medical understanding worldwide, The Art of Medicine celebrates both medical advance and visual artistry.
  • Anderson, J., Neary, F. and Pickstone, J. (2007). Surgeons, Manufacturers and Patients: A Transatlantic History of Total Hip Replacement. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
    The Total Hip Replacement (THR), or Artificial Hip, brought pain-free mobility to millions of older people, and then to younger, relatively athletic patients. THR transformed orthopaedics and became the basis of a global industry. This pioneering study explores THR in the very different health economies of the UK and the US, asking searching questions about surgeons, technologies and companies, and about costs as well as benefits.

Book section

  • Anderson, J. (2015). Hospitals. in: Cocroft, W. D., Schofield, J. and Appleby, C. eds. The Home Front in Britain 1914-1918: An Archaeological Handbook. Council for British Archaeology.
  • Anderson, J. (2013). Stoics: creating identities at St Dunstan’s 1914-1920. in: Cooper, N. and McVeigh, S. eds. Men After War. Routledge.
  • Anderson, J. (2011). Medical or Social? A note on models of disability. in: Telfer, B., Shepley, E. and Reeves, C. eds. Re-framing disability. Royal College of Physicians.
  • Anderson, J. (2011). Public bodies: disability on display. in: Telfer, B., Shepley, E. and Reeves, C. eds. Re-framing Disability: Portraits from the Royal College of Physicians. Royal College of Physicians, pp. 15-34.
  • Anderson, J. and O'Sullivan, L. (2010). Histories of disability and medicine: reconciling historical narratives and contemporary values. in: Sandell, R., Dodd, J. and Garland-Thomson, R. eds. Re-presenting Disability: Activism and Agency in the Museum. Routledge, pp. 143-153.
  • Anderson, J. and O'Sullivan, L. (2010). Challenging Images: Historical Representation and Contemporary Sensitivity in Displaying the History of Disability through Medical Collections. in: Sandell, R., Dodd, J. and Garland-Thomson, R. eds. Re-Presenting Disability: Museums and the Politics of Display. Routledge, pp. 0-0.
  • Timmermann, C. and Anderson, J. (2006). Greenhouses and Body Suits: The Challenge to Knowledge in Early Hip Replacement Surgery. in: Devices and Designs: Medical Technologies in Historical Perspective. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan UK. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230286405.

Edited book

  • TImmermann, C. and Anderson, J. eds. (2006). Devices and Designs: Medical Technologies in Historical Perspective. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan UK.
    In the last two centuries, medicine has been transformed by a number of major technological and organisational innovations. This edited collection examines the role of medical technologies in the history of medicine, of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools, prostheses and apparatus. The volume also discusses the social, cultural, political and economic contexts from which these medical technologies emerged, and, in turn, how technical innovations gave rise to new social constellations. A central purpose of the volume is to show what consequences new practices linked to the uptake of certain technologies had for the history of medicine more widely.

Edited journal

  • Anderson, J. and Carden-Coyne, A. eds. (2007). Special edition on the History of Disability. European Review of History/Revue européenne d'histoire 14.


  • Anderson, J. (2009). Voices in the Dark: Representations of Disability in Historical Research Dale, P. et al. eds. Journal of Contemporary History [Online] 44:107-116. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022009408098649.
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