Dr Valerie Wright

Lecturer in Modern Scottish History


I am a historian of modern Scotland with particular expertise in gender, social, urban and political history.

Previous experience:

  • Research Associate - Leverhulme Trust funded project 'Building a Modern Scotland: The New Towns, c. 1947-2017' based in History at the University of Glasgow. 
  • Research Fellow - ESRC funded project 'Reimagining the Future in Older Age' based in Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling.
  • Research Associate - Leverhulme Trust funded 'Employment, politics and culture in Scotland, 1955-2015', Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow.
  • Lecturer - Modern Scottish History, Scottish History, University of Glasgow
  • Research Associate - Leverhulme Trust Funded  'Housing, Everyday Life and Wellbeing over the long term: Glasgow 1950-1975', Urban Studies and History at the University of Glasgow
  • Post-Doctoral Research Assistant - Leverhulme Trust Funded 'Jute & Dundee: The Management of Industrial Decline', Economics and History at the University of Dundee




I completed my PhD entitled 'Women’s Organisations and Feminism in Interwar Scotland' in the Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Glasgow. 


Responsibilities & affiliations

I currently serve on the judging panel for the Saltire Society's Scottish History Book of the Year, I am a member of the Writing Labour History in Brexit Britain network, and serve on the  steering committee of Scottish Labour History Society

I am a member of the Histories of Gender and Sexuality Research Group at the University of Edinburgh and remain an affiliate member of the Centre for Gender History at the University of Glasgow. 

I also serve on the Board of Future Paisley, leading cultural regeneration of the town as well as the Research and Ethics Committee of Paisley Museum Reimagined

Undergraduate teaching

  • Course Convenor SCHI10010 Contemporary Scotland 
  • Course Contribution HIST08042 Themes in Scottish History 
  • Course Contribution HIST08036 The History of Edinburgh
  • Pathway tutor Historical Skills and Methods I  
  • Pathway tutor Historical Skills and Methods II 
  • Dissertation supervision 

Postgraduate teaching

  • Course Convenor PGHC11111 Contemporary Scotland
  • Pathway tutor Historical Research: Skills and Sources
  • Dissertation supervision

Research summary

Broadly my interests focus on social history in postwar Britain and Scotland. I am particularly interested in the following themes:

  • class and identity
  • housing and activism
  • urban change, redevelopment and regeneration
  • deindustrialisaiton
  • women and work


Current research interests

I am currently working on a co-authored monograph and articles on the development, history and legacy of the new towns programme in Scotland. 

Past research interests

- older adult's perceptions of future time and hopes and desires for the future - The effects and legacy of the processes of deindustrialisation on communities and individuals in post-war Scotland - The changing structure of women’s employment in Britain in the post-war years - Women’s engagement in politics (broadly defined) and role in political change in twentieth century Britain - The long-term impact of the residualisation of council housing on the lack of affordable housing in the present day - Children’s use of urban space and the ways in which this was altered by urban planning in the post war years, especially with regards to play

Knowledge exchange

Spring 2022-present – Protests & Suffragettes – ‘knowledge activism’ wiki editing – co-organiser

I have been co-organising Wikipedia editing sessions for members of the public interested in creating and improving wiki entries for women involved in the demand for enfranchisement in Scotland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

January 2018-present  'Paisley Museum Reimagined' (PMR)

I have collaborated with the PMR team to develop ‘story-based’ interpretations of the museum’s collections as part of a £42m investment project. I acted as the lead oral history researcher and author on a story on cultural responses to deindustrialisation which focused on ‘Punk in Paisley’. I also advised on the interpretation and design of the interactive display that will feature in the museum.

December 2020 – June 2021– Thistles & Dandelions Mentoring programme  

I led four online training sessions for volunteers from countries all over the world. Thistles & Dandelions was a year long Heritage Lottery Funded programme by Empower Women for Change. 

2018-2020 – I played a crucial role in the management of the Royal Society of Edinburgh funded 'After the factory: women, gender and deindustrialisation in European perspective' (Lead Dr Jackie Clarke, University of Glasgow) which delivered three workshops, working closely with Paisley Museum Reimagined and Clydebank Museum.

October 2018 Collaborated with Fairfield Heritage Museum to co-produce a museum display on the ‘Fairfield Experiment’ and also an online resource featuring extracts of oral testimony chosen by interviewees.

2017-2018 – Collaborated with Education Scotland to create learning resources for Broad General Education based on Leverhulme Trust-funded research ‘Housing, Everyday Life and Wellbeing over the long term’. Collaborated with two teachers at Coatbridge High to produce a learning resource for S1-2 Modern Studies students entitled ‘Homes in high places: ​Urban life in 20th century Glasgow’ officially launched in January 2019.

In addition to being interviewed for a variety of print media including The Herald, The Scotsman and The Evening Times:

See my ResearchEd profile here - https://www.research.ed.ac.uk/en/persons/valerie-wright


  • J. Phillips, V. Wright and J. Tomlinson, Deindustrialisation and the Moral Economy in Scotland since 1955 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021) ISBN 9781474479240.
  • L. Abrams, A. Kearns, B. Hazley and V. Wright, Glasgow: High-Rise Homes, Estates and Communities in the Post-War Period (London: Routledge, 2020) ISBN 9781138317093.
  • J. Tomlinson, C. Morelli and V. Wright, The Decline of Jute: Managing Industrial Change, (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2011) ISBN 9781848931244.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • V. Wright and A. Fair, ‘The opportunity and desire to buy: owner-occupation in Scotland’s new towns, c. 1950-80’, Contemporary British History (published online 8 January 2024) https://doi.org/10.1080/13619462.2023.2294972 
  • J. French, M. Lovatt and V. Wright, ‘Understanding nuance and ambivalence in intergenerational relationships through fiction’ The Gerontologist (published online April 2023)https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnad051
  • V. Wright, ‘‘Housing problems … are political dynamite’: Housing disputes in Glasgow c. 1971 to the present day’, Sociological Research Online, Rapid Response 26 (2021) (published online June 2018) https://doi.org/10.1177/1360780418780038
  • V. Wright, J. Phillips and J. Tomlinson, ‘Defending the right to work: the 1983 Timex workers’ occupation in Dundee’ Labour History Review 86(1)(2021), pp. 63-90 https://doi.org/10.3828/lhr.2021.4
  • B. Hazley, L. Abrams, A. Kearns and V. Wright, ‘Place, Memory and the British High Rise Experience: negotiating social change on the Wyndford Estate, 1962-2015’, Contemporary British History  35(1) (2021), pp.72-99 (published online November 2020) https://doi.org/10.1080/13619462.2020.1845148 
  • J. Phillips, V. Wright and J. Tomlinson, ‘Being a ‘Clydesider’ in the Age of Deindustrialisation: skilled male identity and economic restructuring in the West of Scotland since the 1960s’ Labor History 61(2)(2020), pp. 151-69 (published online September 2019) https://doi.org/10.1080/0023656X.2019.1666973
  • J. Phillips, V. Wright and J. Tomlinson, ‘Deindustrialization, the Linwood Car Plant and Scotland’s Political Divergence from England in the 1960s and 1970s’ Twentieth Century British History30:3(2019), pp. 399–423 (published online March 2019) https://doi.org/10.1093/tcbh/hwz005
  • A. Kearns, V. Wright, L. Abrams and B. Hazley, ‘Slum Clearance and Relocation: A Reassessment of Social Outcomes Combining Short- term and Long-term Perspectives’, ‘The long view’: A Special Edition of Housing Studies 34(2)(2019) pp. 201-25 (published online December 2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2017.1409342
  • V. Wright, A. Kearns, L. Abrams and B. Hazley, ‘Planning for Play: Seventy years of ineffective public policy? The example of Glasgow, Scotland’, Planning Perspectives Volume 34(2) (2019), pp. 243-63 (published online October 2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02665433.2017.1393627.
  • L. Abrams, B. Hazley, V. Wright and A. Kearns, ‘Aspiration, agency and the production of new selves in a Scottish new town, c.1947-c.2016’ Twentieth Century British History 29(4)(2018), pp. 576-604 (published online May 2018) https://doi.org/10.1093/tcbh/hwy006
  • B. Hazley, V. Wright, L. Abrams and A. Kearns, ‘‘People and their homes rather than housing in the usual sense’: locating the tenant’s voice in Homes in High Flats’, Special Issue: Pearl Jephcott: Reflections, Resurgence and Replications Women's History Review 28(5)(2019), pp. 728-745 (published online May 2018) https://doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2018.1472890
  • V. Wright, ‘‘Tinkering at a local level’: Unemployment, State intervention and community agency in Ferguslie Park, Paisley c. 1972-1977’, Scottish Labour History 53 (2018), pp. 192-211.
  • E. Breitenbach and V. Wright, ‘Women as Active Citizens: Glasgow and Edinburgh, c. 1918-1939’, Women’s History Review, Special Issue: ‘Feminism and Feminists After Suffrage’, 23(3)(2014) pp. 401-20. doi:10.1080/09612025.2013.820602.
  • V. Wright, ‘A Women’s Industry? The Role of Women in the Workforce of the Dundee Jute Industry c. 1945-1979’, Special Issue: ‘The Global Business of Jute: Markets, Firms, Gender and Political Economy’, International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 8(2/3) (2014), pp. 110-25. doi:10.1504/IJMCP.2014.063847.
  • C. J. Morelli and V. Wright (Guest Editors), ‘Introduction’, Special Issue: ‘The Global Business of Jute: Markets, Firms, Gender and Political Economy’, International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 8(2/3)(2014).
  • V. Wright, ‘The Prevention of Rural Depopulation: Housing and the Scottish Women’s Rural Institutes, c. 1917-1939’, Twentieth Century British History, 23(3)(2012), pp. 336-58 doi:10.1093/tcbh/hwr048.
  • C. J. Morelli, J. Tomlinson and V. Wright, Managing Competition: Government and Industry Relationships in the Jute Industry 1957-1963’, Business History, 54(5)(2012), pp. 765-82. doi:10.1080/00076791.2011.631129.
  • V. Wright, ‘Education for Active Citizenship: Women’s Organisations in Interwar Scotland’, History of Education, 38(3)(2009), pp. 419-36. doi:10.1080/00467600902855454.

Book chapters

  • V. Wright, ‘Making their own fun: children’s play in high-rise estates in Glasgow in the 1960s and 1970s’, in S. Pooley and J. Taylor (eds) Children’s Experiences of Welfare in Modern Britain (London: University of London Press, 2021) ISBN 978-1-912702-86-2
  • A. Hughes and V. Wright, ‘What did the rent strikers do next? Women and Housing struggles in Interwar Scotland’ in N. Gray (Eds) Rent and its Discontents: A Century of Housing Struggle(Transforming Capitalism Series) (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) ISBN 978-1-78660-574-0.
  • J. Clark and V. Wright ‘Urban Regeneration in Glasgow: Looking to the past to build the future? The case of the ‘New Gorbals’’ in J. Clark and N. Wise (eds.) Urban Renewal, Community and Participation: Theory, Policy and Practice (The Urban Book Series) (New York: Springer, 2018) ISBN 978-3-319-72311-2. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-72311-2_3)
  • V. Wright, ‘Juteopolis and After: Women and Work in Twentieth-Century Dundee’ in J. Tomlinson and C. Whatley (eds), Jute No More: Transforming Dundee (Dundee: DUP, 2011), pp. 132-62, ISBN 9781845860905.