Dr Cathy Smith

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Mental health in the nineteenth century

Willing to speak to media


Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


My first degree in History was completed at Loughborough University and I then moved to Nottingham University for my PhD. For a short time I worked as  post doctoral student on a Leverhulme project before becoming a lecturer at the University of Northampton. I then led the BA History degree programme and became Subject Leader for History.

I was co-editor of the journal Family and Community History from 2013-2018.

Since 2016 I have held the post of  Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Education and Humanities and alongside this I am currently Chair of the Inclusive Student Experience Group. I am leading on the University of Northampton's submission to REF2021.



Research Interests


My PhD from Nottingham University (1996) was titled The Renaissance of the English Market Town: A Study of Six Nottinghamshire Market Towns 1680-1840 and focused on the economic, social and cultural development of small market towns in the long eighteenth century. My current research interests lie within the history of medicine and more specifically mental health and asylums in the nineteenth century. The areas I have most recently published on include the politics behind the development of nineteenth-century lunatic asylums, decision-making in asylum admissions, the violently insane and the impact of insanity on family and friends. I am also interested in the medicalisation of poverty in nineteenth-century nosologies of madness, admissions and discharges from the Northampton General Lunatic Asylum, charity, insanity and the middle classes.

Since November 2017 when I became Chair of the University of Northampton's Inclusive Student Experience Group, I have developed a strong interest in the experience of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups who enter University and I am currently the University lead on an Advance HE project looking at closing the attainment gap for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students.



Teaching Interests

My teaching experience and interests lie in Early Modern European History c1480-1700, Eighteenth-century British History and my third year module focuses on Heresy and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe. At MA Level I teach on a history of medicine module.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor, Loughborough University

PhD, University of Nottingham


Dive into the research topics where Cathy Smith is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles