Sam Wetherell
Lecturer in the History of Britain and the World



BA (Oxon), PhD (University of California, Berkeley)

Sam Wetherell is a Lecturer in the History of Britain and the World. Before arriving at York Sam completed his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and spent a year as a visiting lecturer at Columbia University.

Sam specialises in the history of cities, political economy, and art-making. He is currently writing a book about the transformation of the British built environment in the twentieth century, focussing on housing, consumption and patterns of work. He has also published articles about the history of community arts and neoliberal urban planning policies in Britain and the United States. Sam's second book will be about the history of deindustrialization and the "creative economy" in the post-war period, looking at art schools, community arts and architecture, gentrification and urban regeneration in Britain and the United States. 



Sam is currently working on a book called Foundations: The City and the Origins of Political Change in Twentieth Century Britain. The book tells the story of modern Britain through the transformation of its built environment focussing on housing, workplaces and spaces of shopping and consumption. More specifically it shows how enclosed wholesale markets became out of town shopping malls, how philanthropic and later modernist council estates became private gated communities and how government-backed backed industrial estates became suburban office parks. Along the way the book charts the rise social democratic planning and how it came to be displaced by a new, market-driven neoliberal settlement in the last third of the twentieth century.

Sam has published two articles, a piece on community arts and new methods of self-expression in the 1970s in History Workshop Journal as well as an award winning article on the urban enterprise zone and neoliberal urban planning in Britain and the United States in Twentieth Century British History. His second book will be a history of how art-making and creativity have transformed the political economy of post-war Britain. The project will look at how new forms of self expression including community arts and architecture, art-therapy and public art were co-opted by governments in Britain, the United States and the Europe Union to solve the economic problems caused by deindustrialization.




Contact details

Dr Sam Wetherell
Department of History
University of York
Vanbrugh College V/A/219
YO10 5DD

Tel: Internal 3604, External (01904) 323604

Student hours