Wendy Kline

University of Birmingham Distinguished Chair Award, University of Birmingham - History

I am a professor and Dema G. Seelye Chair in the History of Medicine in the Department of History at Purdue University. At Purdue, I particularly enjoy teaching courses that focus on the history of psychiatry and the history of women's health. I recently completed my third book, Coming Home: How Midwives Changed Birth (Oxford UP 2019). I am also a professional violinist and perform with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra. I am excited to return to the U.K. I spent six months in Glasgow last year investigating the papers of psychiatrist R.D. Laing. Through my research, I developed a greater interest in trying to capture the exchange of psychiatric ideas and therapies between the U.S. and the U.K. in the twentieth century. My current project, an in-depth historical study of the rise and fall of LSD treatment in the U.K., centres on the remarkable story of Powick hospital, where LSD first crossed the border from Europe to England. While the history of LSD therapy has received extensive analysis in Europe and the U.S., there currently exists no in-depth historical study of its use in the U.K. My fifteen-year-old daughter and I look forward to exploring Birmingham together. She, too, is an accomplished violinist and we hope to find some opportunities to perform during our stay.