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Ms Holly Smith
Ms Holly Smith profile picture
  • SPGTA: Making History
  • Dept of History
  • Faculty of S&HS
Research Summary

My doctoral research explores tenant activism on high-rise housing estates in late twentieth century Britain. This work is funded by a Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities. 

My thesis is a socio-political history of high-rise living in post-war Britain, with a specific focus on community action by council tenants. It seeks to examine the discourses, languages, and emotions which have animated narratives about high-rise and the ‘inner city’ in Britain – with a perspective primarily from the grassroots. It particularly attempts to disarticulate the effects of the fall of the Berlin Wall, neoliberal economies, and gentrification upon housing activists’ consciousnesses and political imaginaries. 

This research draws together historical explorations of the post-war welfare state, leftist political cultures, and modernist architecture. This work draws on the theoretical frameworks of the linguistic turn, practices of everyday life, and ‘post-politics’. Methodologically, it engages with the built environment, print cultures, the digital humanities, videography, and microblogging in order to analyse the material cultures within activism, and to delineate how these interlink with histories of the internet/cyberspace. 

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