Ms Ella M Sbaraini

E Sbaraini

Specialisation18th and 19th century British history
Research interestsElla Sbaraini is a historian with a particular interest in histories of mental health, death, the emotions, race and sexuality. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of Britain from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, and it seeks to examine the construction, and experience, of mental ill-health during this period.

Her PhD explored the experience of feeling suicidal in England and Wales between 1700 and 1850. It considered what it was like to feel suicidal at a time when suicide was illegal, the emotions that people expressed, and how these changed over time. It challenged the idea that suicide was ‘secularised’ over this period, instead proposing that suicide had profound religious significance for those who considered it.

During her Fellowship, Ms Sbaraini is working on a new project investigating the relationship between mental health, race and class in Britain from 1770 to 1920. Using a wider variety of legal, institutional and personal sources, it will seek to historicise racism and race-making in British mental health institutions, and to examine how racialised conceptions of mental health operated in wider society.