Pain is often seen as universal and timeless, but how have people’s understandings of pain changed over time? Did the invention of more effective analgesics and anaesthetics really revolutionise medical practices and human relationships to suffering?
Pain forces sufferers to ‘pay attention’ to their bodies. The way people-in-pain communicate their suffering has a profound effect on the type and quality of care they receive.
Professor Bourke is a historian and academic. She is currently Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London. She is also Director of the Birkbeck Trauma Project and in 2014, she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.
She is Visiting Professor of History at Gresham College.