Dr Sam Burgum

Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Leverhulme Research Fellow

+44 114 222 2694

Full contact details

Dr Sam Burgum
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Room D7a
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

I am an urban sociologist, currently conducting a Leverhulme-sponsored ethnographic project on squatting in the context of the UK's housing crisis.

I regularly blog about this research at 'Squatting London'.

I have a Sociology BA (York, 2011), Social Research MA (York, 2012) and a PhD in Sociology (Warwick, 2016). My doctoral research involved an ethnographic study of the Occupy movement in London, focusing on the use and importance of urban space for the protesters, using participant observation and interviews in order to understand how the activists managed and organised their protest in the wake of the financial crisis. My thesis is now available as a book, entitled: 'Occupying London: Post-Crash Resistance and the Limits of Possibility'.

I have previously worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Universities of York, Warwick, and Newcastle; a Teaching Fellow at the University of Warwick; and as a researcher for the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

Research interests

I am currently conducting a Leverhulme-funded ethnography with activists in London, provisionally titled: ‘The London Underground: Squatting and Direct Housing Action in the Alpha Territory’. Methods include participant observation, interviews, photo-elicitation, and archival work, as well as a literature review of existing squatting & housing research and policy.

My wider research interests include:

  • Social justice and urban inequality.
  • Housing, property, and informality (home-less people & people-less homes).
  • Squatting, trespass, occupation, and direct action.
  • Social movements, grassroots campaigns, and activism.
  • Urban and social theory.
  • Epistemology, ethnography, and qualitative methods.

Academic citizenship: I have reviewed papers for Antipode, Theory Culture & Society, and the Radical Housing Journal. I am also a website content commissioning editor for theoryculturesociety.org

Teaching activities

While my main focus is my research, I currently supervise MA students, as well as contribute lectures, workshops, and seminars on the following modules at Sheffield:

  • TRP234 Urban Theory & Politics
  • TRP111 Cities
  • TRP130 Housing, Home and Neighbourhood
  • TRP6404 Research Methods (MA)
  • TRP6406 Dissertation (MA)
  • TRP626 Doctoral Training in Urban Studies & Planning

I am also an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).