Chloe Pieters

Chloe's project examines the impact of the First World War on the structures of, and roles within, families in Britain and Belgium. The project compares the family's normative place at the heart of wartime and post-war rhetoric in both societies with the experiences of real families, adopting a cultural history framework to do so. This project aims to understand how the family is contested and constructed at a time when faced with physical threat in a total war context and extreme moral, material, and psychological pressure as the supreme symbol of why the war was being fought. As the idea of the family became infused with new political and civic meaning over the course of the war, the family unit itself became a site of potential succour, solidarity, and resistance. This project assesses the resilience of the family as a social institution, looking at how families could cope with the multiple effects of war, which included bereavement, material shortages, and the growing intrusion of the state into the private realm.


Supervisor: Heather Jones (primary supervisor), Florence Sutcliffe-Braithewaite (secondary supervisor)
Working title: 'The First World War and the making of the modern family in Belgium and Britain'
Expected completion date: 2025

Prizes and scholarships

Chloe was awarded the History department's Richard Chattaway scholarship for 2018-19 and was co-recipient 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Papers and presentations: 

  • Ideal families and women's autonomy in the British wartime press, 1914-18, IHR Britain at Home and Abroad Seminar, December 2020
  • IHR History Lab Annual Conference: Material culture as methodology: the objects that make history (panel discussant, ‘Gender, War and the Material’), Institute of Historical Research, August 2021
  • Fighting for the Family: The Home in the Home Front, 1914-1918, Tyneside Irish Cultural Society, June 2021

Teaching 2021-22 (Postgraduate teaching assistant)

  • Worlds of UCL (Institute of Education)
  • Writing History (Department of History)
  • UCL Writing Lab