MSc in History of Science, Medicine and Technology
I first came to Oxford as a history undergraduate at Pembroke College, graduating in 2018. The breadth of the Oxford course was very enjoyable, but I nevertheless developed a particular interest in the history of science. My undergraduate dissertation focused on some rather entertaining American anthropological studies of Japanese national character from World War II, which (under the influence of neo-Freudianism) diagnosed Japanese military and political aggression as a pathological release of anal frustration repressed during traumatic infant toilet training.
For my Master’s dissertation, I will follow one of the anthropologists behind these wartime studies of the Japanese, Gregory Bateson, as he began work in the nascent, but exciting, field of cybernetics post-war. Outlining the ‘double bind’ theory of schizophrenia in 1956, Bateson’s work would go on to influence such seminal thinkers as Stewart Brand, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and R.D. Laing.
I am acutely aware that studying here is a great privilege, and have a keen interest in equal access to universities; for the past year, I have been working as a regional coordinator in London for one of Oxford’s access and outreach initiatives, OxNet, and was also involved in access work during my time as an undergraduate. I am immensely grateful to the Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme for their manifold support, and to the wider Ertegun community for their energy and inspiration.