Professor Linda Bryder

"My research interest is the history of health and medicine in the twentieth century, currently with a particular focus on New Zealand but with an eye to the broader Western world. I think it is important to place medicine and its practitioners into the specific environment in which they existed – they cannot be considered in isolation from that society and its social values. In my work I aim to contextualise medical history, including the experiences of patients. An understanding of health policy is also important to explain how health and medical care have been experienced in the past. I would argue that health issues and medicine form an integral part of understanding past and present societies.

"My research has ranged from a study of the 1918 influenza epidemic, to major infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, and infant health. My current research is in the area of women’s health (including obstetrics and gynaecology) during the second half of the twentieth century.

"I really get a lot out of tutoring Stage I, II and III students. I enjoy the interaction and fresh ideas that they bring when they critique the texts and documents that I’ve given them to look at. They sometimes surprise me by providing new perspectives. From the student surveys and other responses that I’ve had from students I think they also find it a great advantage to interact with someone who has actually done research on the topic that they are investigating or studying, someone who has written the books or the articles.

"What I look for in a graduate student is someone with an open mind, someone who is prepared to change their mind on the topic once they start doing the research and looking at the primary sources. It is also really important for the students to be prepared for the hard slog. Sometimes students will be very happy to have an open mind and lots of ideas but I look for someone who is prepared to get into those archives and do a lot of work."

Professor Linda Bryder

Professor Linda Bryder

School of Humanities
Phone: + 64 9 373 7599 ext 87319

Find out more about studying History

Find out more about Professor Linda Bryder