Claire Wrigley

PhD Candidate

Late Modern Europe

I am a historian of modern Europe. My dissertation, "Family, Nation, Empire: An Imperial History of Public Housing in Britain, 1890-2017", looks at how public (council) housing policy was produced as part of a quest to make 'better' British citizens. I show how housing policy was created in response to larger questions, distinctively raced and gendered, about what it meant to be a citizen, who could be or become one, and what rights and duties that entailed.

I am the recipient of the North American Conference on British Studies' 2021 Dissertation Fellowship. My work has also been supported by a number of other entities, including the University of California Berkeley's Institute of International Studies, the Center for Race and Gender, and the Center for British Studies.

In the 2021-22 academic year I am a visiting scholar at the University of Birmingham's Modern British Studies Centre. I am a member of and sometime guest writer for the London-based Social Housing Law Association and in Berkeley I was the coordinator of the Berkeley-Stanford British Studies Reading Group from 2018 to 2020.


Research Interests

  • state formation
  • citizenship
  • decolonization
  • political history

Select Conference Presentations

"‘Evict the Council, Not The People’: the Bengali Housing Action Group, Slum Clearance, and the Meaning of Home in 1970s Britain."

15th International Conference on Urban History, European Association for Urban History, Antwerp (upcoming August 2022)

"Model Dwellings, Model People: Imperialism, Citizenship, and the Origins of Council Housing in Britain, 1890-1919."

Cities, Crisis and Change: Urban History Group Conference, University of Leicester virtual conference (June 2021) 

"To Sweep Away and Raise Up: Slum Clearance, Public Housing, and State Surveillance in Britain, 1919-1930."

Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, Merced, CA (March 2019)