Meet the Surgery & Emotion project team.

Principal Investigator
Michael Brown

Michael is Reader in History in the Department of Humanities at the University of Roehampton and Principal Investigator on the Surgery & Emotion project.  He has written extensively on the history of medical identity, performance and self-representation as well as gender, war and militarism in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He is the author of the book Performing Medicine: Medical Culture and Identity in Provincial England, c.1760-1850 (Manchester University Press, 2011) and co-editor of Martial Masculinities: Experiencing and Imagining the Military in the Long Nineteenth Century (Manchester University Press, 2019). He is currently completing a book on emotion and the cultures of Romantic surgery for Cambridge University Press.

Michael Brown

Research and Engagement Fellow
Agnes Arnold-Forster

Agnes is the project’s Research Fellow, exploring the role of emotions in contemporary British surgery. Blending the medical humanities with the history of emotions, she seeks to map out the personal and professional landscape of modern operative practice, analysing surgical sorrow, joy, grief, guilt and compassion. She uses oral history methods alongside written sources to examine how emotions shape professional identities and experience.

Since October 2019, Agnes is also the Engagement Fellow and is responsible for the project’s engagement and outreach activities, including our interactions with surgeons, patients, academics, and policy makers. In addition, she manages the project's website and social media.She completed her PhD at King’s College London in 2017 and her first book is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Since joining the project, Agnes has published on death and dying in the contemporary British operating theatre, postwar medical romance fiction, and doctors’ ‘wellbeing’ both past and present. She has an MSc in the history of science, technology, and medicine from Imperial College/UCL and professional experience in public health and international development.

Agnes Arnold-Forster

Senior Research Fellow
James Kennaway

James is Senior Research Fellow on the Surgery & Emotion project. He has written extensively on the history of medicine and emotions, notably in his monograph Bad Vibrations. Before starting at Roehampton, he worked at Oxford, Stanford, Durham, Newcastle, Groningen and Vienna. His current project deals with manly fortitude in military surgery in the context of race, class and empire.

James Kennaway

PhD Candidate
Lauren Ryall-Waite

Lauren is a PhD candidate exploring nineteenth-century surgery and emotion, with a focus on material culture, human remains, and the medical body on display. She was previously Curator at the Thackray Medical Museum where she cared for medical material culture dating from Roman times to the present day. Lauren has a background in archaeology from the University of Manchester, and her MA thesis explored human remains in archaeological collections and the ethical implications in displaying them. In 2017 she was awarded a place on the Museums Association Transformers programme, a network which encourages new thinking and change in the museum and heritage sector. 

Lauren Ryall-Waite

PhD Candidate
Issy Staniaszek

Issy is a Vice Chancellor’s Scholar supervised by Michael Brown and Louise Lee, researching French medicine and eroticism in British literature and culture, c.1840-1900. She is interested in visual culture, bodies, crime and gender, and how national and medical identities shaped and were shaped by popular culture. She has a BA in French and English and an MA in Victorian Studies, both from the University of Leicester.

Issy Staniaszek