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Professor Clare Hanson 

Emeritus Professor

Professor Clare Hanson's photo

Professor Clare Hanson is a Professor of English at the University of Southampton.

I joined English at Southampton in 2006, having previously taught at the University of Gloucestershire, the University of Leicester and at Loughborough University, where I was Professor of English. I have taught on a wide range of courses in 20th century literature at undergraduate and at MA level, and have supervised 14 PhDs to successful completion. I am a Fellow of the English Association, and a founding member and member of the steering group of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Network. I am also Co-editor of the journal Contemporary Women’s Writing.

Research interests

My major research interest is in the relationship between literature and science. This has led to two monographs, A Cultural History of Pregnancy (2004) and most recently Eugenics, Literature and Culture in Post-war Britain (2012). You can find a BBC History Magazine podcast on the issues raised in this book at (28 Feb 2013 issue).

My current research focuses on the cultural implications of post-genomic science, exploring the new understandings of inheritance and identity which are emerging from it. 

 Research projects

I have recently led a cross-disciplinary project in this area which was funded as an AHRC Exploratory Award in Science and Culture. ‘Beyond the Gene' brought together distinguished biomedical scientists, philosophers and literary scholars and culminated in a public event where new perspectives on inheritance were discussed by Jeanette Winterson, Professor Evelyn Fox Keller and Professor Tim Spector. I am currently planning a book on Post-genomic Cultures which will extend this cross-disciplinary research. 

In another new project, I am co-editing with Susan Watkins Vol 9 in the series The History of British Women's Writing, co-edited by Dr Jennie Batchelor and Professor Cora Kaplan.

Research project(s)

Medicine in History and Society

Initially of interest to physicians from the time of the Enlightenment onwards, the history of medicine has gradually gained the attention of historians, sociologists, philosophers, anthropologists, and other social science students.

Beyond the Gene

This project focuses on the shift in scientific understanding which is currently occurring, as research in epigenetics takes us beyond the powerful, gene-centric model that dominated science and culture in the twentieth-century.  We want to develop an accurate, informed picture of this transition, based on genuine dialogue between the sciences, the humanities and the wider public. We are bringing together leading researchers in biomedicine, literary studies, philosophy and creative writers to explore collaboratively the epigenetic cultures of the 21st century.

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Professor Clare Hanson
Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/2031

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