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Teri Chettiar

Associate Professor

Research Interests

History of the human sciences

Modern Britain and Europe

Gender and Sexuality

Research Description

I am a historian of the human sciences and my research focuses on how changing understandings of mental and emotional health in the 20th century have interacted with and shaped marginalized identities and movements for social and sexual reform. My first book, The Intimate State: How Emotional Life Became Political in Welfare-State Britain (Oxford University Press, 2022), examines how British state-supported mental health initiatives made emotional intimacy and lifelong monogamy both politically valued and personally desired in the second half of the twentieth century. I have published articles related to this in History of the Human SciencesHistory of PsychologyJournal of British Studies, and History of Medicine

I am currently working on two new projects: one focuses on the history of intergenerational trauma and the other examines ongoing race, gender, and class-based disparities related to the diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the US, Canada, and the UK.


Ph.D. Northwestern University, 2013

Additional Campus Affiliations

Associate Professor, History

Recent Publications

Chettiar, T. (2023). Counselling for connection: Making queer relationships during Britain's sexual revolution. Medical Humanities, 49(2), 182-192.

Chettiar, T. (2023). The Intimate State: How Emotional Life Became Political in Welfare-State Britain. Oxford University Press.

Chettiar, T. (2016). "More than a Contract": The emergence of a state-supported marriage welfare service and the politics of emotional life in Post-1945 Britain. Journal of British Studies, 55(3), 566-591.

Chettiar, T. (2015). Review: M. Thomson's Lost Freedom: The Landscape of the Child and the British Post-War Settlement. Journal of British Studies, 54(01), 246-247.

Chettiar, T. (2015). Treating marriage as "the sick entity": Gender, emotional life, and the psychology of marriage improvement in Postwar Britain. History of Psychology, 18(3), 270-282.

View all publications on Illinois Experts