Charlotte Wildman

Charlotte Wildman

Dr

Personal profile

Biography

I became lecturer in modern British history at the University of Manchester in 2010 and Senior Lecturer in 2017, after holding temporary posts at the University of Nottingham and the University of Liverpool. I am also on the board for Manchester Histories, a charity that promotes the area's diverse heritage and history. I was Assistant Director of Research Impact for the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures September 2018-2021. I held an AHRC Networking Grant that facilitated a partnership with the Pankhurst Centre and I have undertaken significant engagement work with heritage and communty groups in the North-West. I have an AHRC Research, Development and Engagement Felowship 2023-25 'Reconsidering Crime in Working-Class Homes and Family Life, 1918-1979'.

Research interests

My research focuses on urban culture in twentieth-century Britain and falls loosely around two themes:

 1. Working-class urban communities, and 'deviant' women and children in twentieth-century Britain

Building on from my British Academy Small Grant 2016-2019 for a project titled 'The Home as a Site of Criminality: Gender, Crime and the Family in Britain, 1918-1979' and an AHRC Network Grant 'Challenging Domesticity', I am interested in working-class domesticity in inner urban communities. Forming the basis of my next monograph, this project examines working-class women’s use of the home for a range of minor crime as a way to contest the inequalities they experienced and to subvert increased state intervention into familial domesticity, 1918-1979. Home-centred offences are under-explored but offer an opportunity to expand enquiry to the domestic sphere and offer new insights into women's experiences of the home through the lens of crime records. I am particularly interested in the ways in which working-class domestic space helped to facilitated offending and its implications for women's interpersonal relationships, especially with children, their husbands, and non-familial men.

I am also interested in the ways in which women might use urban space for nefarious behaviours, such as shoplifting, and how deviant women represented wider social anxieties about femininity and women’s increased mobility after 1918.

Eloise Moss (History), Ruth Lamont (Law) and myself, are co-writing a monograph on the assisted emigration of ‘delinquent’ children through Liverpool to Canada. Drawing on archival records in both the North-West of England and Canada, we offer new insights into children's ability to resist or shape their experiences of emigration, explore emigration as a child welfare polcy, and compare religious and regional approaches and methods to assisted emigration.

 

 

2. Readdressing the history of Liverpool and Manchester.

 

My doctoral project challenged some of the overly stereotypical images of Liverpool and Manchester, which stress poverty and decay, by drawing attention to the ambitious programmes of redevelopment that local politicians and planners invested in as a response to post-1918 economic, political and economic instability. By drawing attention to grand prestige projects such as the Mersey Tunnel and Wythenshawe Estate, I show that these programmes of redevelopment aimed to boost trade and engender a strong civic pride. Urban redevelopment transformed urban culture in these cities and my monograph, Urban Transformation and Modernity in Liverpool and Manchester, 1918-1939 shows the revitalized civic, consumer, and religious urban cultures that emerged in both cities.

 

Impact and Public Engagement

 

 I am enthusiastic about research impact and the wider dissemination of my research. My research impact strategies focus on:

 

1. Community Engagement

 

I regularly work with community groups to use my research to train volunteer researchers, encourage interest and engagement with heritage, and enhance civic pride and community relationships. My work includes the HLF funded projects: 'Watkin of Wythenshawe' and 'Burnage: A Place Called Home.' I welcome enquiries from schools and community groups who are interested in heritage projects.

 

2. Broadcast Media and Historical Consultancy

 

I regularly work with journalists and producers to shape content and contribute to a range of broadcast media, including ‘Emmeline Pankhurst: Making of a Militant’ (2018), copies have been sent to all secondary schools in Greater Manchester.  I am also currently working as a historical consultant for a screenplay in development with a major US film studio. I have made appearances on Sky News and BBC Breakfast, discussing a range of historical topics.

3. Policy Engagement

I am keen to share my research findings with policymakers and stakeholders and have particular expertise relating to inequalities relating to gender, class, and region. See, for example: https://blog.policy.manchester.ac.uk/posts/2024/02/i-am-terribly-hard-up-how-looking-at-historical-experiences-of-womens-offending-can-help-to-address-current-problems-of-benefit-fraud/

 

Opportunities

I supervise a number of PhD students researching a range of topics related to the social and cultural history of modern Britain:

2023-2026: Sarah Cundy, ‘Place, Politics and Pedagogy in the Everyday Lives of Two Manchester Districts, 1880- 1939’, AHRC, award.

2022-2025: Kerry McCall, ‘Experiences of Antisemitism among Jewish Women in Interwar Britain,’ UoM funding award.

2023-2025, Kelly Swaby, ‘FAÇADE OF INNOVATION: THE POLITICS OF THE ADVANCEMENT OF NURSING IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, C.1960-2000,’ Wellcome funded.

2021-2024: Eve Pennington, ‘Mothers of Modernity: Women’s Experiences of New Towns in North West England, 1961-1989,’ ESRC award.

2021: Tania Shew, ‘The First Sisterhood: Strikes and Solidarity within the Sexual Politics of First Wave Feminists in Britain and the USA 1840-1920,’ President’s Scholarship.

2021: Jessica White, ‘Women's Relationships in Post-War Britain,’ SALC Scholarship.

2018-21: Jonathan Smith, ‘Brutalism in British Cinema,’ AHRC NWCDTP Studentship.

2016-19: Jane Clarke, ‘A review of the impact of women’s military or wartime service in the aftermath of the First World War, based on IWM’s journal collections’. AHRC CDP award with the Imperial War Museum.

2016-19: Olivia Havercroft, ‘Agoraphobia and urban space in England, 1870-1910,’ University of Manchester award.

2015: Paula Chorlton: ‘Tenant experience of council housing post-war Manchester’.

2014: Nathan Booth: ‘Leisure and Masculinity in 'Dear Old Dirty Stalybridge', c.1835-1875’; Watts Family PhD Studentship.

2014: Emma Sheldon, ‘Football and regional identities in post-war Britain’; AHRC.

2013: James Greenhalgh: ‘Provincial urban modernity and place-making in Britain’.

2013: Michael Perduniak: ‘The British Liberal Party and the working class vote, 1880-1919’.

2013: Helen Rajabi: ‘The idea of race in interwar Britain: religion, entertainment and childhood Experiences’.

 

I welcome interest from potential PhD students in any area of urban, gender, cultural and social history.

Further information

Academic Responsibilities

AHRC Panel Member and peer reviewer, 2020 -

Editorial Board Member: Royal Historical Society New Perspectives monograph series.

Until 2020 - Reviews Editor, Women’s History Review.

Member of the Editorial Board for Contemporary British History; Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire.

Theory and Methods Strand Convenor, Social History Society and Conference, 2011-2012.

Committee Member, History Lab Plus, 2011-12.

Expert referee: I have reviewed monograph proposals for Oxford University Press; Liverpool University Press, Routldege, and Longman; funding proposals to the National University of Ireland Travelling Scholarship; journal articles for Historical Journal, Immigrants and Minorities, Social History; 20th Century British history, Contemporary British History, Urban History, and Cultural and Social History.

 

Community History Projects (selected):

Awarded Supplementary Research Leave for Semester 1, 2018/19 as part of an internal funding competition for teaching relief to find research impact activities with community history groups in Manchester. Project work includes, ‘Burnage a Place Called Home,’ with Burnage Activity and Information Hub; and Manchester Whit Processions project, with three primary schools based in Wythenshawe and Moss Side. The projects include delivering a programme of workshops based on my research to develop research and literacy skills, team working, and promote civic and cultural engagement amongst difficult to reach groups.

October 2015 – July 2016: Project partner for the Heritage Lottery Funded project, ‘Watkin of Wythenshawe’ in conjunction with Wonders of Wythenshawe youth group, I delivered training sessions in historical research to improve the literacy and research skills, promote civic pride through local history, develop team-working skills of secondary-age students.

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Areas of expertise

  • D204 Modern History
  • HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
  • HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
  • HT Communities. Classes. Races

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Creative Manchester

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