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Ageing. Identity and Wellbeing: looking at the past to understand the future

Dr Helen Yallop, King's College London

Date/Time: 27th March 2014

This talk addresses some fundamental questions about age and ageing:

  • What does it mean to age and grow old?
  • How do we make sense of and come to terms with our eventual demise?
  • Are we afraid of ageing?
  • Will we be the same person in twenty years time?
  • How much can we do about ageing; how much can we control it?

These concerns are not new. Helen shares her work on ageing in the 18th century and shows how, over 300 years ago, people were asking similar questions.

Although we now live in a very different time and place, some of the advice from the past can feel very pertinent to today; in fact very similar to the findings coming out of recent research and advice. She is keen to show what we can learn from the past about human nature and wellbeing as we contemplate longer, and hopefully healthier, lives.

Speaker biography

Dr Helen Yallop is a Research Fellow in the Department of History at King's College London. Her book 'Age and Identity in eighteenth-century England' was published in 2013.

Helen is interested not only in the history of ageing, but in bringing humanities research to pressing questions in contemporary society.

Helen is also Head of Education at a headhunting company in London, and as such conducts research into age in the workplace and attitudes towards working longer in life.

She studied for her PhD at King's College London, and has an MA from the Coutauld Institute of Art and a BA from Cambridge University.