Go to main content


The History of Psychology Centre organises a variety of events and public engagement activities promoting the rich and varied history of psychology.

These events take two forms:

  • an annual Stories of Psychology day
  • History of the Psychological Disciplines seminar series

Please consult the appropriate tab below for further details.

The 2019 edition of Stories of Psychology will be held on the 07th of November at Friends House in London.

The title of this year's event is:

“Stories of Psychology: Psychology, Society, and the Public”

How have psychologists interacted with the public to provide understanding of social issues and anxieties, such as the threat of war, disasters, terrorism, economics, technology and political upheaval?

The morning session will consider the changing messages given and the afternoon will focus on the medium used by public psychologists from pre-war BBC radio talks to current multi-channel and social media outlets.

The full programme  will be made available in due course.

Tuesday 16th October 2018, 10am–3:45pm

Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, University of London


  • Dr Paul Sullivan (Bradford University)

    Welcome and opening remarks

  • Professor Fraser Watts (University of Lincoln)

    Emotions: why study their history?

  • Dr Sally Holloway (Oxford Brookes University)

    Love and heartbreak: searching for happiness in a 'civilised' society

  • Dr Sarah Chaney (Centre for the History of the Emotions, Queen Mary)

    Compassion: gender, vocation, and self-sacrifice in nursing

  • Dr Richard Firth-Godbehere (Centre for the History of the Emotions, Queen Mary)

    Disgust: new emotion, old experience?

  • Dr Tiffany Watt-Smith (Centre for the History of the Emotions, Queen Mary)

    Schadenfreude: how english-speakers learnt malicious glee

  • Professor Thomas Dixon (Centre for the History of the Emotions, Queen Mary)

    Anger: from deadly sin to basic emotion

Download the programme for 2018

Thursday 19th October 2017, 10.30am–4.30pm

Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, University of London


  • Professor Elizabeth Valentine (Royal Holloway, University of London)

    Early Women Members of the British Psychological Society: Challenges and Achievements

  • Dr Katherine Hubbard (University of Surrey)

    The British Projective Test Movement: A Queer Feminist Tale

  • Dr Nick Midgley (Anna Freud Centre)

    Anna Freud: An Advocate for Children

  • Professor Jan Burns (Canterbury Christ Church University)

    Psychology of Women Section: Power to Change?

  • Professor Dame Vicki Bruce (Newcastle University)

    Sense and Serendipity

Download the programme for 2017

Download the abstracts for 2017

Thursday 06 October 2016

Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, University of London


  • Professor Mathew Thomson (University of Warwick) - Psychology and the Landscape of the Child in 20th-Century Britain: A Story of Lost Freedom?
  • Professor Vasu Reddy (University of Portsmouth) - The Child as a Psychologist? – Shifting Assumptions and Changing Understandings
  • Professor Matthew Smith (University of Strathclyde) - The Nervous and Allergic Child: Psychosomatic Understanding of Allergy in Mid-Century USA
  • Professor Ingrid Lunt (University of Oxford) - The Child’s Place in the World: Evolving Rights and Responsibilities

Plus a presentation of his PhD research by Andrew Burchell (University of Warwick) - Mental health in the ‘blackboard jungle’: Psychology and youth violence in post-war Britain

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, University of London

Convened by Professor John Hall (Oxford Brookes University)

The topic of this year's symposium was chosen as a curtain raiser for the start of the 50th anniversary year of the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) in 2016. It looks forward to the Golden Anniversary by looking back at the development of clinical psychology as a profession, a history that reaches back beyond the foundation of the DCP in 1966.


  • Emeritus Professor Bill Yule (Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London) 
  • Dr Jennifer Clegg (University of Nottingham) 
  • Dr Anne Richardson (formerly of University College London and Department of Health) 
  • Professor Bob Woods (Bangor University) 
  • Dr Saima Lofgren (Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust)

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, University of London

Convened by Dr Alan Collins (Lancaster University)

This year's symposium is part of the British Psychological Society's planned series of events to mark the centenary of the First World War.


  • Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes (Anglia Ruskin University, and BPS President Elect)

    From Myers to the MOD: 99 Years of British Military Psychology

  • Professor Edgar Jones (Institute of Psychiatry)

    Shell Shock: The First World War and the Origins of Psychological Medicine

  • Professor Michael Roper (University of Essex)

    Growing Up In The Aftermath: Childhood and Family Relationships Between the Wars

  • Professor Sonu Shamdasani (University College London)

    C. G. Jung 1914-1918: From the Great War to the War Within

  • Andrea von Hohenthal (University of Freiburg, Germany)

    Presentation of initial doctoral research findings on the development of psychology in Britain and Germany during the Great War

Download the programme for 2014

The History of Psychology Centre, in conjunction with UCL's Centre for the History of the Psychological Disciplines, organises a number of seminars each year, all of which are free to attend.

Top of page