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Chloe Challender

History, University of Warwick

Thesis title:

Institutional intimacy: gender, contested sexuality and relationships in the 19th Century British Parliament

This part-time PhD uses approaches and insights developed in histories of sexuality to focus on individuals’ interactions with the institution of Parliament in the long Nineteenth Century. Wih a particular focus on gender, sexuality and intimate relationships, the project examines how ‘affect’ existed in and influenced the political space of Parliament. What was the nature of intimacy’s entanglement with elite politics and a heteronormative masculinised political institution?

A multi-disciplinary PhD, the analysis interweaves theoretical and empirical insights from history, political science, anthropology, English literature, gender and queer studies, and psychology, providing an innovative institutional history of Parliament and its effect on the politics and social history of the long Nineteenth Century. 

Research Area

  • History
  • Political History


Sarah Childs and Chloe Challender, ‘Re-gendering the UK House of Commons: The Academic Critical Actor and Her ‘Feminist in Residence’ (Political Studies Review Vol 17 Issue 4, 428-435, 1 August 2019)

Adam Mellows-Facer, Chloe Challender and Paul Evans, ‘Select Committees: Agents of Change’ (Parliamentary Affairs Vol 72 Issue 4, pages 903-922, October 2019)

Chloe Challender and Harriet Deane, ‘The construction of the Good Parliamentarian within the House of Commons’ (Study of Parliament Group 2021)

Sarah Childs (Chloe Challender anonymous co-author), ‘Feminist Institutional Change: The Case of the UK Women and Equalities Committee’ (Parliamentary Affairs, Vol 00, 1–25, 3 March 2022)


Gender and Political Groups in Britain c.1650-1950 (forthcoming University of Northampton April 2023, abstract submitted)

Public Engagement & Impact

Senior Clerk, House of Commons (part-time role). Two decades’ experience as a senior official working on parliamentary procedure, policy and inclusion across Whitehall and Westminster. 

Comprehensive first-hand experience in designing and implementing strategies for political inclusion gained through leadership of Parliament’s gender equality network. 

Fellow, Westminster Abbey Institute

Other Research Interests

Women's representation in the contemporary 21st Century UK Parliament.

Diversity and inclusion within parliamentary institutions.


Practitioner member, Study of Parliament Group. Authored chapter in 2021 book ‘Parliaments and the Pandemic’ on the effect of the hybrid Parliament on inclusion and masculinities/femininities.