Matthew Francis

Colleges, School and Institutes


I was appointed to a Teaching Fellowship in the Department of History in September 2012. Before moving to Birmingham I had been a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham (2008-2011), where I also completed doctoral work exploring the influence of neoliberalism on contemporary British political ideologies.

Research interests

I am currently in the early stages of a project that will explore the politics of property in twentieth century Britain. Driven by the rapid expansion of owner-occupation, the transformation of patterns of property ownership ranks among the most remarkable features of the twentieth century. This project will explore the role that political agency (and ideology) played in this transformation, examining the measures that successive governments introduced to encourage the wider distribution of property and the political ideas that informed calls for the creation of a ‘property-owning democracy’.

I am also currently working – together with colleagues from the University of Nottingham and the People’s History Museum – to organise a conference to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Harold Wilson’s ‘White Heat’ speech. The event will draw on a combination of academic and witness contributions, and will explore the political, cultural, economic and scientific context of the speech, and assess its wider significance within recent British history.