Collegiate Assistant Professor, Social Sciences
Teri Chettiar is a historian of modern Britain and Europe whose research focuses on intersections between the psychological sciences and the politics of democracy in the twentieth century, particularly around child, family, and community health initiatives. She received her PhD in history from Northwestern University in 2013. She is currently finishing a book manuscript, entitled The Psychiatric Family: How Private Life Became Political in Welfare-State Britain, which examines how a post-war revolution in British psychiatry transformed both democratic welfare politics and what counted as emotional health—and how the two came to be seen as deeply interconnected. It reveals how, between 1945 and 1979, citizens’ emotional lives came to be understood as the great social equalizer, and lifelong heterosexual monogamous relationships were cast as the privileged basis for stable democracy. She has published articles related to this book project in Journal of British Studies, History of Psychology, History of the Human Sciences, and History of Medicine. She is also mapping out a new project, tentatively entitled “Inventing the Global Child: Science, Humanitarianism, and the End of Empire,” which investigates the central role of the newly emerging child development sciences in shaping British, French, and American postcolonial socio-economic development initiatives in the decades after 1945. Between 2013 and 2016 Teri was a postdoctoral fellow at the Humboldt University and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where she was a member of the Berlin Center for the History of Knowledge.