Anna Doherty MA Social and Cultural History.

Anna Doherty

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am originally from Nottingham but now regard Leeds as my second home, having spent the last four years here studying at the University.

I completed an undergraduate degree in English and History and decided to advance my knowledge and understanding and embark on an MA. My passions revolve around people, societies and communities and I love learning about these in my academic work and in my extra-curricular activities.

My time at the University has opened a multitude of doors to me and I believe I have had a truly unique experience.

What made you want to apply to your MA course?

I loved Leeds and I loved my undergraduate degree. I considered taking up a degree in Early Modern History but decided that the broader course in Social and Cultural History would be more appropriate to my interests and allow me to explore others areas of history and theory.

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

The thing that ignites my passion about social and cultural history is the comparable nature it brings to issues today.

I recently researched the comparable aspects between Anorexia Mirabilis in the later medieval period and modern-day eating disorders, tying in my own social activism for mental health issues and learning about an understudied area of history.

I love that my course allows me to extend my horizons in this way and allows me to explore what interests me.

What aspects of the course do you enjoy the most? 

I enjoy the research aspect and finding out biographical information about understudied individuals that may not have previously received the attention they deserve.

My thesis is on print history and the translator’s performance, and I am able to integrate the skills I learnt at my joint honours first degree in analysing language.

What would you say about the learning facilities?

I think that the University Libraries are exceptional, and I am so lucky to have access to the Brotherton Library with its Special Collections.

The facilities that are provided are great for archival work and allow me to advance my research and increase my understanding of reading databases and analysing information.

Did you work closely with a particular member of academic staff?

Dr Sara Barker has been my dissertation supervisor for the past year and in my undergraduate dissertation too and has been incredibly supportive in her approach. She genuinely cared about my welfare and wellbeing and I continue to feel supported by her supervision.

What other opportunities have been available to you?

During my MA I got a part-time job in Leeds University Union as a Help and Support Assistant, which truly changed my experience of student life as I learnt about welfare issues directly affecting individuals and increasing my passion for mental health awareness.

Having struggled with an eating disorder during my undergraduate degree I went on to promote early intervention and prevention in mental health issues and have been involved in a variety of awareness events in the past year.

I recently spoke as a panelist at the Young People’s Mental Health and the Arts Conference hosted by the Cultural Institute. I have also been the postgraduate wellbeing rep for the Arts, Humanities and Cultures Wellbeing Project and ran a wellbeing event for students in June 2019.

What do you plan to do now you’ve finished your course?

I am unsure of where my future will take me, but I am confident that it will involve wellbeing and mental health championship.

My MA has equipped me with the knowledge and understanding of research and I think the time management skills I have learnt are invaluable to my future plans. I hope to work with people struggling with welfare issues and use my experience and professionalism to aid in their recovery or integration into leading fulfilling lives.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

If you are interested in history and in furthering your passion for research in societies and cultures across time, then this course is definitely going to suit your needs. It allows you to design it to your own interests and gives you far more freedom in your studies.