|Feminism, Politics and Social Change in Modern Britain
Dr. Laura Schwartz
Wednesday 10am-12pm, Room H103
Sue Morgan (ed.), The Feminist History Reader (2007) [It would definitely be worth buying this.]
Heidi Safia Mirza, Black British Feminism: A Reader (1997) [Worth buying this too]
Special Issue: ‘Rethinking the History of Feminism’, Women: A Cultural Review 21:3 (2010) [Available online]
Margaret Walters, Feminism: A Very Short Introduction (2005) [This is a good overview, worth buying]
Barbara Caine, English Feminism 1780-1980 (1995) [And this would be very useful to always have on hand as a reference guide.]
P. Hollis (ed.), Women in Public: The Women’s Movement 1850-1900 (1979) [available in library, collection of extracts from primary sources]
Feminist Anthology Collective (ed.) No Turning Back: Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement 1975-1980 (1981) [available in library, more primary sources]
Feminist Review [Seminal articles now online open access.]
Women in the National Archives [Online primary sources. Access via Warwick Library: Databases – History]
BBIH [bibliography for British and Irish History – allows you to search by theme and person. Lists articles as well as monographs]
ISS [bibliography for Social Science – ditto]
Note on Terminology
There is no clear distinction between primary and secondary sources in this course. Reading is divided into ‘documents’ (those primary sources emerging directly from the debates within the feminist movements we are studying) and ‘histories’ (work taking a more analytical approach to and overview of these debates). Some weeks, when we look specifically at debates occurring within the scholarship and history of feminism and at more contemporary issues, there will be no such distinction.
Because there are no lectures, this module really won’t work if you haven’t done the reading. Don’t let your fellow students down by turning up and expecting just a few people to do all the work!
You must read a minimum of 1 ‘document’ and 2 ‘histories’.
A little light reading/ listening for the summer holidays…
Episode 1. ‘4th Wave Feminism Gender Equal or Gender Different’ 4th Wave Feminism
[a good place to start as describes different waves of feminism. See whether you agree with the definition and historical periodisation of different waves.]
Dr. Rashmi Varma,‘Global Feminism’, Warwick University Podcasts:
[bit more serious. Reminds us that feminism exists outside of UK and US!]
Episode 2. ‘Gender and Feminism’ LSE Review of Books Podcast:
[Different interviews with feminist historians and theorists]
S. Rowbotham, Promise of a Dream: Remembering the Sixties (2000)
L. Segal, Making Trouble: Life and Politics (2007)
A. Dowkin, Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant (2002)
What is feminism?
Competing definitions of feminism across the world
Questions to ponder whilst you read:
What are the different political traditions of feminism? Are terms such as radical, socialist and liberal adequate to describing different feminist outlooks?
How does feminism relate to other struggles for social justice?
What are the differences between first, second, and third waves? Is there such a thing?
How have definitions of feminism changed over time?
How should historians deploy ‘feminism’ as a historical term?
Do we still need feminism today?
Sally Haslanger, Nancy Tuana & Peg O’Conner, ‘Topics in Feminism’, The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Summer 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.): online article http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2012/entries/feminism-topics/
[nice short overview – bit overly orientated towards United States but useful]
Barbara Caine, English Feminism 1780-1980 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997) [a good place to start]
Nancy F. Cott, N. F. (1987) The Grounding of Modern Feminism, (New Haven & London, Yale University Press). [Chapter 1 provides a good account of historical development of term]
Daisy Hernandez & Bushra Rehman, Colonise This! Young Women of Color in Today’s Feminism (Berkeley: Seal Press, 2002) [not yet in library]
Jenny Turner, ‘As Many Pairs of Shoes as She Likes’, London Review of Books 33:24 (15 Dec 2011), 11-15
[Generated much debate among the feminist literati/ grandmummies of the Women’s Liberation Movement. See letters in subsequent issues of LRB if you’re interested.]
bell hooks, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (Boston: South End Press, 1981)
Alice Walker, ‘Definitions of Womanist’, in Gloria Anzaldua (ed.) Making Face, Making Soul: Haciendo Caras (San Francisco: Aunt Lutte Books, 1990)
Domestic ideology and the home as workplace, 1860-1914
Please Note: This week the first half of the seminar will consist of a lecture. This lecture will link together what might seem like disparate themes in the reading, so worry not!
Questions to ponder whilst you read:
How useful is a theory of ‘separate spheres’ to understanding the ‘realities’ of women’s lives during this period?
How has the discipline of history itself been ‘gendered’?
Is it possible to define domestic work as a job like any other?
To what extent do you think feminist historians have succeeded in writing women and gender back into history as a whole?
Frances Power Cobbe, ‘Household Service’ in P. Hollis, Women in Public: The Women’s Movement 1850-1900 (1979), pp.63-4
'Why do girls dread domestic service?' (pp.26-7) and 'Domestic service versus business employments' (p.56), Our Own Gazette (YWCA) vol. XVII (1900) Modern Records Centre MSS.243/5/11
Liberal Party ‘A Word to the Women’ (1906) [available digitally as part of MRC documents http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
L. Davidoff & C. Hall, Family Fortunes. Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780-1850 (1987)
L. Davidoff, 'Gender and the "Great Divide": Public and Private in British Gender History', Journal of Women's History, 15:1 (2003), 11-27.
A. Vickery, ‘Golden Age to Separate Spheres? A Review of the Categories and Chronology of English Women's History’, The Historical Journal 36:2 (June 1993), 383-414
A. McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (1995).
M. Poovey, Uneven Developments: The Ideological Work of Gender in Mid-Victorian England (London: Virago, 1989).
J. Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988)
J. Scott, Gender: ‘A Useful Category of Historical Analysis’, The American Historical Review 91:5 (Dec 1986), 1053-1075
A. Summers, Private Lives, Moral States: Women, Religion and Public Life in Britain 1800-1930 (Newbury: Threshold Press, 2000). [esp. Introduction]
Feminism, religion and secularisation, 1880-1914
Was first wave feminism secular?
Does religion oppress women more than it supports them?
How can we approach the religious beliefs of women in the past?
What is the relationship between religion and politics in the context of the first wave women’s movement?
Margaret Jane Menzies, Eighth monthly letter to young women (1880) [available digitally at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
A. Besant, Autobiographical Sketches (1885)
J. Butler, Personal Reminiscences of a Great Crusade (1928)
The Catholic Suffragist, volume 1, number 1 (15 January 1915) [available digitally at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
J. De Vries, ‘More Than Paradoxes to Offer: Feminism, History and Religious Cultures’, in S. Morgan & J. De Vries (eds.), Women, Gender and Religious Cultures in Britain 1800-1940 (2010)
J. Dixon, ‘Sexology and the occult: sexuality and subjectivity in Theosophy's new age’, Journal of the History of Sexuality 7 (1997), 409-33
L. Schwartz, The Bible and the Cause: Freethinking Feminists vs. Christianity, England 1870-1900’, Women: A Cultural Review 21:3 (2010), 266-278
L. Schwartz, ‘Review Article: Women, Religion and Agency in Modern British History’, Women’s History Review 21:2 (2012), 317-323
J. Dixon, Modernity, ‘Heterodoxy and the Transformation of Religious Cultures’ , in S. Morgan & J. De Vries (eds.), Women, Gender and Religious Cultures in Britain 1800-1940 (2010), pp. 211-230
H. Mathers, ‘Evangelicalism and Feminism: Josephine Butler, 1828-1906’, in S. Morgan, Women, Religion and Feminism in Britain (2002), pp.123-138
K. Gleadle, The Early Feminists: Radical Unitarians and the Emergence of the Women’s Rights Movement 1831-1851 (1995)
C. Midgley, ‘Women, Religion and Reform’, in S. Morgan & J. De Vries (eds.), Women, Gender and Religious Cultures in Britain 1800-1940 (2010), pp.138-58
B.Taylor, Eve and the New Jerusalem: Feminism and Socialism in Nineteenth-Century England (1983), [chapter 5].
M. Vicinus, Independent women : work and community for single women : 1850-1920 (1985) [chapters 2,6, and 7, especially pp.268-80]
L. Davidoff & C. Hall, Family Fortunes. Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780-1850 (London: Hutchinson, 1987) [chapter 2]
The women’s movement and imperial subjects, 1860-1914
Questions to ponder whilst you read:
To what extent did the imperial context shape feminism in Britain?
Was first wave feminism concerned only with the rights of white women?
Could British feminism be said to have ‘benefitted’ from imperialism?
How did British women interact with Indian women?
Choose 2 readings from section B ‘Women, Politics and Empire’, in A. Burton (ed.), Politics and Empire in Victorian Britain
‘Introduction’ plus choose 2 readings, in P. Tuson (ed.) The Queen’s Daughters: An Anthology of Victorian Feminist Writing on India (1995)
Primary Sources presentation in class
Frances Swiney, Our Indian Sisters (1914) [available as part of digitised MRC documents at
Leaflet Advertising the Indian Female Evangelist (1880)
[available as part of digitised MRC documents at
A. Burton, Burdens of History. British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865-1915 (1994)
A. McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (1995) [esp. Introduction]
C. Midgley, ‘Can Women’s Be Missionaries? Envisioning Female Agency in the Early Nineteenth-Century British Empire’, Journal of British Studies 45:2 (2006), 335-358
C. Midgley, Feminism and Empire. Women Activists in Imperial Britain, 1790-1865 (London ad New York: Routledge, 2007)
C. Midgley, ‘From Supporting Missions to Petitioning Parliament: British Women and the Evangelical Campaign against Sati in India, 1813-30’, in K. Gleadle and S. Richardson (eds.), Women in British Politics 1760-1860. The Power of the Petticoat (2000), pp.74-92
C. Midgley, ‘Anti-Slavery and the Roots of “Imperial Feminism”’, in C. Midgley (ed.), Gender and Imperialism (1998), pp.161-179
G. Spivak, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’, in C. Nelson and L. Grossberg, Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (1988) [Also widely available online if you google. Don’t worry if you find this tough – it is – but also worth it as a significant theoretical piece which underpins much of the historical writing on this subject.]
J. De Groot, ‘Feminism in Another Language: Learning from Feminist Histories of Iran and/or from Histories of Iranian ‘Feminism’ Since 1830’, in Women: A Cultural Review Special Issue: Rethinking the History of Feminism 21:3 (2010), 251-265
C. Bressey, ‘Victorian Anti-Racism and Feminism in Britain’, Women: A Cultural Review Special Issue: Rethinking the History of Feminism 21:3 (2010), 279-291.
P. Anagol, ‘Indian Christian Women and Indigenous Feminism c.1850-c.1920’, in K. Offen (ed.), Globalising Feminisms 1789-1945 (2010), pp.96-110
Catherine Hall, ‘Introduction’ to Civilising Subjects, in S. Morgan (ed.), The Feminist History Reader, pp.339-359
Week 6: Reading Week, no seminar
Feminism, class and suffrage 1900-1928
To what extent did the suffrage movement represent the interests of all women?
To what extent was the suffrage movement part of a broader movement for social change?
Was militancy an elitist tactic? If so, why?
How great a threat to the social order did the suffragettes represent?
‘Imprisonment of Teresa Billington for alleged assault…’ from Women in the National Archives Collection HO 45/10345/141956 [download these for greater ease of reading]
‘Suffragists: Outrage at the National Gallery’, from Women in the National Archives Collection, AR1/38
‘Suffragists: Descriptions and Photographs’, from Women in the National Archives Collection, AR1/528
‘Song Sheet sold by the East London Federation of Suffragettes’ (nd), MRC MSS.240/R/5/5/4 [available as part of digitised MRC documents at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
Caroline E. Martyn, ‘Women in the World’ (July 1895) [available as part of digitised MRC documents
Lily Gair Wilkinson, ‘Woman’s Freedom’ (1914) [available as part of digitised MRC documents at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
Jill Liddington, Rebel Girls (2009)
J. Liddington, One Hand Tied Behind Us:The Rise of the Women’s Suffrage Movement (1978) [important for working-class element]
J. Purvis, ‘Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928), Suffragette Leader and Single Parent in Edwardian Britain’, Women’s History Review 20:1 (2011) 87-108
C.J. Bearman, ‘The Legend of Black Friday’, Historical Research 83:222 (2010) 693-718
M. Joanou & J. Purvis, The Women’s Suffrage Movement: New Feminist Perspectives (1998)
S.S. Holton, Suffrage Days: Stories from the Women’s Suffrage Movement (1996) [chapter 5]
J. Purvis, ‘The prison experiences of the suffragettes in Edwardian Britain’, Women’s History Review 4 (1995) 103-33
S.S. Holton, ‘Silk dresses and lavender kid gloves : the wayward career of Jessie Craigen, working Suffragist’, Women’s History Review 5:1 (1996) 129-50
A.V. John, ‘Radical reflections? Elizabeth Robins : the making of suffragette history and the representation of working-class women’, in Owen Ashton, Robert Fyson and Stephen Roberts (eds.), The Duty of Discontent: Essays for Dorothy Thompson (1995)
S.S. Holton, Feminism and Democracy: Women’s Suffrage and Reform Politics in Britain 1900-1918 (1986)
J. Purvis & S.S. Holton (eds.), Votes for Women (2000)
Sex, Sexuality and Sex Work 1870-1930
This week the readings will be divided into three inter-related themes:
1. Struggles for sexual freedom
2. Writing ‘lesbian’/ queer history.
3. Campaigns against prostitution
Each group will give a 20 minute presentation giving an overview of the literature of the theme, outlining for the rest of the seminar group the key historiographical debates.
L. Hall (ed.), Outspoken Women: An Anthology of Women’s Writing on Sex 1870-1969 (2005) [choose your relevant extracts, decide for yourselves whether the historiography adequately illuminates the primary sources.]
Also have a look at the MRC digitised sources available at
[you may wish to showcase one of these in your presentations.]
L. Hall, Review of L. Bland, Banishing the Beast and Margaret Jackson, The Real Facts of Life http://www.lesleyahall.net/bland.htm [The website in general is essential reading for anyone interested in history of sexuality.]
Lesley A. Hall, The Life and Times of Stella Browne: Feminist and Free Spirit (London: I.B. Tauris, 2011)
R. Brandon, The New Women and the Old Men: Love, Sex and the Woman Question (1991)
L. Bland, Banishing the Beast: English Feminism and Sexual Morality (1995)
S.S. Holton, ‘Free Love and Victorian Feminism: The Divers Matrimonials of Elizabeth Wollstoneholme and Ben Elmy’, Victorian Studies 37:2 (1994), 199-222
L. Schwartz, ‘Freethought, Free Love and Feminism: Secularist Debates on Marriage and Sexual Morality, England c. 1850-1885’, Women’s History Review 19:5 (Nov 2010), 775-794
S. Jeffreys, The Spinster and Her Enemies: Feminism and Sexuality 1880-1930 (1985)
Writing Lesbian/ Queer Histories
E. Edwards, ‘Homoerotic Friendships and College Principles, 1880-1960’, Women’s History Review 4:3 (1995), 149-163.
L. Faderman, ‘Who Hid Lesbian History’, in S. Morgan (ed.), The Feminist History Reader (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006), pp.205-211.
S. Jeffreys, ‘Does it Matter if the Did It?’, in S. Morgan (ed.), The Feminist History Reader (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006), pp.212-218
M. Vicinus, ‘Lesbian History: All Theory and No Facts or All Facts and No Theory?’, in S. Morgan (ed.), The Feminist History Reader (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006), pp. 219-231
J. M. Bennett, ‘”Lesbian-Like” And the Social History of Lesbianisms’, in S. Morgan (ed.), The Feminist History Reader (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006), pp.244-259
L. Rupp, ‘Toward a Global History of Same-Sex Sexuality’, in S. Morgan (ed.), The Feminist History Reader (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006), pp.260-270
S. Brady, Masculinity and Male Homosexuality in Britain 1861-1913 (2005)
M. Cook, London and the Culture of Homosexuality1885-1914 (2003)
Campaigns Against Prostitution
S. Forward, ‘Attitudes to Marriage and Prostitution in the Writings of Olive Schreiner, Mona Caird, Sarah Grand and George Egerton’, Women’s History Review 8 (1999), 53-80
M. Luddy, ‘Irish Women and the Contagious Diseases Acts’, History Ireland 1:1 (1993), 32-35
Maria Luddy, ‘“Abandoned Women and Bad Characters” Prostitution in Nineteenth-century Ireland’, Women’s History Review 6 (1997), 485-503
E. Malcolm, ‘Troops of Largely Diseased women: VD, the Contagious Diseases Acts and Moral Policing in Late Nineteenth-Century Ireland’, Irish Economic and Social History 26 (1999), 1-14
A. Summers, ‘The Constitution Violated: the Female Body and the Female Subject in the Campaigns of Josephine Butler’, History Workshop Journal 48 (1995), 1-15
J. Caplan & J. Walkowitz, ‘Male Vice and Feminist Virtue : Feminism and the Politics of Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century Britain’, History Workshop Journal 13 (1982), 77-93
[The seminal work, or read Walkowitz’s monograph on this Prostitution and Victorian Society (1980)]
Lucy Bland, Banishing the Beast: English Feminism and Sexual Morality (1995) [chapter 3]
Feminism, the family and the state 1914-1939
Questions to ponder whilst you read…
Were feminists in agreement about on the subject of ‘the family’?
How influential were feminist ideas in shaping social policy?
What feminist critique might we have of the welfare state?
‘Leaflet re National Council for Unmarried Mother and Her Child’ Ref. Maternity and Infant Welfare 1/3, Women, War and Society [access via Warwick Library databases]
‘Leaflet: Babies of the Empire Society’, Ref. Maternity and Child Welfare 1/4, Women, War and Society [access via Warwick Library databases]
‘Leaflet: Maternity and Child Welfare Grant’, Ref. Maternity and Child Welfare 1/13 Women, War and Society [access via Warwick Library databases]
‘The State and Sexual Morality’ (1920) MRC MSS.97/5/24 [available digitally at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
Eleanor Rathbone, ‘The Disinherited Family: A Please for Direct Provision for the Costs of Child Maintenance Through the Provision of Family Allowances’, BSP Social Service Review 1 Sept 1927 1:3, 525-526
Or her book The Disinherited Family if you find this interesting.
Sylvia Pankhurst, The Home Front (1932) [a fascinating read]
‘Motherhood’ (1931) [available digitally at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
J. Lewis, ‘Gender, the Family and Women's Agency in the Building of "Welfare States": the British Case’, Social History 19 (1994), 37-55
J. Lewis, The Politics of Motherhood: Child and Maternal Welfare in England, 1900-1939 (1980)
C. Beaumont, ‘Citizens not Feminists: the Boundary Negotiated Between Citizenship and Feminism by Mainstream Women's Organisations in England, 1928-39’, Women’s History Review 9:2 (2000), 411-429
S. Pederson, Family, Dependence and the Origins of the Welfare State in Britain and France (1993)
D. Cohen, ‘Private lives in public spaces : Marie Stopes, the mothers clinics and the practice of contraception’ History Workshop Journal 35 (1993), 95-116
A. Davin, ‘Imperialism and Motherhood’, History Workshop Journal 5 (1978), 9-65 [seminal article on relationship between motherhood and the state]
C. Beaumont, ‘Moral Dilemmas and Women's Rights : the attitude of the Mothers' Union and Catholic Women's League to divorce, birth control and abortion in England, 1928-1939’, Women’s History Review 16:4 (2007) 463-85
‘There’s always been a women’s movement in Britain’?
Assessing decline, impact and social change 1918-1945
Questions to ponder whilst you read…
To what extent did the feminist movement change the lives of working-class women in the first half of the twentieth-century?
Did a ‘feminist identity’ still have political purchase among women in the inter-war years?
Was feminism still a ‘mass movement’ after 1918?
How might historians assess the impact of feminism on social change?
‘Six Point Group. Extension of the franchise to women in the colonies’ (1939) from the Women in the National Archives original documents database. [Access via Warwick Library: Databases – History]
‘The Bastardy Bill’ (1920) MRC MSS.243.56 [available digitally at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
Workers’ Birth Control Group, ‘To Our Men Comrades’ (1928) MRC MSS.292/824/1 [available digitally at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
V. Woolf, ‘A Room of One’s Own’, in Three Guineas (1926)
D. L. Sayers, Gaudy Night [a detective novel]
Party Political Pamphlets aimed at Women Voters [available digitally at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
‘Report of a Conference of the Abortion Law Reform Association’ (1936) [available digitally at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/studying/modules/docs/feminism]
L. Hall, Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain Since 1880 (2000)
D. Spender, There’s Always Been a Women’s Movement this Century (1983) [the seminal work]
J. Alberti, Beyond Suffrage: Feminists in War and Peace, 1914-1928 (1989)
J. Martin, ‘Beyond Suffrage: Feminism, Education and the Politics of Class in the Inter-War Years’, British Journal of Sociology of Education 29:4 (2008), 411-23
L. Hall, ‘"Not a domestic utensil but a woman and a citizen": Stella Browne on Women, Health and Society’, Clio Medica: The Wellcome Institute Series in the History of Medicine,1 Aug (2000) 60:1, 275-302
The birth of the women’s liberation movement:
To what extent was the Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) an international movement?
Was the sexual revolution an important factor in the rise of the WLM? If so, how?
Was the Left responsible for the emergence of a ‘second wave’ of feminism in the 1970s?
Did a WLM need to happen?
What are the main differences you perceive between ‘first’ and ‘second’ wave feminism? Are these useful labels for the historian?
If you read some of the WLM autobiographies over the summer, think about how they appear to you now in light of your knowledge of first wave feminism.
*S. Rowbotham, Promise of a Dream: Remembering the Sixties (2000)
*L. Segal, Making Trouble: Life and Politics (2007)
J. Mitchell, Women’s Estate (1971) [part 1 traces the history of the WLM]
J. Mitchell, ‘Women: The Longest Revolution’, New Left Review (1966) [seminal article which played an important role in the beginning of the WLM in Britain]
Fighting for Feminism: The Woman Question in an Italian Revolutionary Group by Big Flame Women’s Group (available at www.libcom/files/5975.pdf)
*B. Campbell & A. Coutes, Sweet Freedom: The Struggle for Women’s Liberation (1987)
S. Maitland, Very Heaven, Looking back at the 1960s (1988)
J. Glencross, How the international women's movement discovered the "troubles" : brokered and broken transnational interactions during the Northern Ireland conflict, 1968-1981(2011)
A. August, ‘Gender and 1960s Youth Culture : The Rolling Stones and the New Woman’, Contemporary British History 23:1 (2009), 79-100
S. Baker & B. Brown, ‘Harbingers of Feminism? Gender, Cultural Capital and Education in Mid-Twentieth-Century Rural Wales’, Gender and Education 21:1 (2009), 63-79
M.P. Donnoly, Sixties Britain: Culture, Society, and Politics (2005) [Chapter on women]
Cultures of activism
Questions to ponder whilst you read…
How were the activist techniques of the WLM innovative?
What was different about the way the WLM organised from previous social movements?
What do you think ‘the personal is political’ means?
How might the activist culture of the WLM make us think differently about what kinds of sources we use to study social movements?
Spare Rib no.38 (1975) [available in MRC 711/C/1/55]
Shrew (autumn 1974) [available in MRC 758/1/8/9]
Your own documents
*L. Foster, ‘Printing Liberation: The Women's Movement and Magazines in the 1970s’, in L. Forster, Laurel & S. Harper, British Culture and Society in the 1970s : the Lost Decade (2010)
*S. Bruley, Article on Consciousness Raising Groups, in Feminist Anthology Collective (ed.) No Turning Back: Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement 1975-1980 (1981)
M. Jolly, In Love and Struggle: Letters in Contemporary Feminism (2008)
D. Withers & R. Chigley, ‘A Complicated Inheritance: Sistershow and the Queering of Feminism, 1973-4’, Women: A Cultural Review 21:3 (2010), 309-322
E. Setch, ‘The Face of Metropolitan Feminism: The London Women's Liberation Workshop, 1969-79’, 20th Century British History 13:2 (2002) 171-90
M. Wandor, Once a Feminist: Stories of a Generation (1990)
C. Hughes, ‘Realigning personal and political: narratives of activist women in the late 1960s and 1970s’, Women’s History Network Magazine, Spring 2012.
R. Baxandall & L. Gordon (ed.s) Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women’s Liberation Movement (2000)
Hidden from History? Feminist historians fight back
Questions to ponder whilst you read…
Were feminist historians successful in changing the discipline of history?
Was the shift from ‘women’s history’ to ‘gender history’ a feminist move?
How have feminist historians re-shaped our understandings of class in history?
K. Cowman, ‘"Carrying on a Long Tradition" : Second-Wave Presentations of First-Wave Feminism in Spare Rib c. 1972—80’, European Journal of Women’s Studies 17:3 (2010) 193-210
D.L. Dworkin, ‘Remaking the British Working Class: Sonya Rose and Feminist History’, in P. Levine & S.R. Grayzel (eds.), Gender, Labour, War and Empire : Essays on Modern Britain (2009)
G. Bock, ‘Women’s History and the History of Gender: Aspects of an International Debate’, Gender and History, 1 (1989)
*J. Scott, Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis’, The American Historical Review, 91:5 (Dec, 1986), 1053-1075
*L.L. Downs, ‘From Women’s History to Gender History’, in S. Berger, H. Feldner and K. Passmore (eds.)., Writing History: Theory and Practice (2003)
Joan Scott, Gender and the Politics of History (1988), esp. chs.1-2.
S.O. Rose, ‘Gender at Work. Sex, Class, and Industrial Capitalism’, History Workshop 21:1 (1986), 113-132
S. Todd, Young Women, Work and Family in England 1918-1950 (2005)
A. Clark, The Struggle for the Breeches: Gender and the Making of the British Working Class (1995)
Wages for housework?
The domestic labour debates in the UK, US and Italy
Questions to ponder whilst you read…
Were the debates on domestic labour effective in responding to the ‘realities’ of women’s lives?
What problems might feminists have with the wages for housework campaign?
Why did feminists ask for wages for housework?
Should feminists employ cleaners?
Article on house work in R. Baxandall & L. Gordon (ed.s) Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women’s Liberation Movement (2000) [a nice place to start]
Various writings on housework in M. Rowe (ed.), Spare Rib Reader: 100 Issues of Women’s Liberation (1982)
*M. Dalla Costa & S. James, The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community (1973) available at www.thecommoner.org 15 (Winter 2012) [online open access]
*S. Federici, ‘Wages Against Housework’ (1974) available at www.thecommoner.org 15 (Winter 2012) [online open access]
A. Y. Davis, ‘The Approaching Obsolescence of Housework: A Working-Class Perspective’, in Women, Race and Class (1981)
*E. Kaluzynska,. ‘Wiping the Floor with Theory: A Survey of Writing on Housework.’ Feminist Review 6 (1980), 27-54 [pay attention to the cartoons too!]
Anne Oakley, Housewife (1974) Chapter 9. ‘Breaking the Circle’
B. Ehrenreich, ‘Maid to Order’, http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/maidtoorder.htm [provides useful overview of 1970s debates and links them to issues today]
B. Ehrenreich, Global Women: Nannies, Maids and Sex Workers in the New Economy (2004)
K. Weeks, The Problem with Work (2012), pp.
Week 5. Reading Week
The Sex Wars:
Debates on Pornography and Sexual Violence from 1980s to the present day
Why did/ does this issue provoke such intense disagreement among feminists?
Why might feminists have ended up allying with the right on the question of pornography?
Can pornography be feminist?
Can the ‘sex wars’ be blamed for the demise of the WLM as a political force?
In the thick of the debate
*A. Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1981)
Julia Long, Anti-Porn: The Resurgence of Anti-Pornography Feminism
C. Mackinnon, Towards a Feminist Theory of the State (1989)
Feminists Against Censorship, Pornography and Feminism: The Case Against Censorship (1991)
*Lynn Segal, Is the Future Female: Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary Feminism (1987) [chapter 3. a useful overview of the sex wars from a partial perspective]
S. Buckland, ‘Call Things By Their Proper Names’ & ‘Don’t Get into Bed with the Mother’s Union’ www.zetkin.net [contemporary feminist blog]
S. Ardill & S. O’Sullivan, ‘Upsetting an Apple Cart: Desire, Difference, and Lesbian Sadomasochism’, Feminist Review 23 (July 1986), 31-57 [a fascinating piece – written about an incident with the WLM]
W. Brown, ‘The Mirror of Pornography’ in States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (1995) [for a reply to Mackinnon]
More ‘distanced’ from the / historical reflections on the debate
D. Cornell (ed.), Feminism and Pornography (2000)
J. Rees, ‘“Taking Your Politics Seriously”: Lesbian History and the Women’s Liberation Movement in England’, in S. Tiernan & M. McAuliffe (eds.) Sapphists and Sexologists (2009)
*J. Rees. ‘A Look Back in Anger: The Women’s Liberation Movement in 1978’, Women’s History Review 19:3 (2010), 337-356
Writing the history of the ‘second wave’
Questions to Ponder whilst you read…
Do you need to be a feminist to write the history of feminism?
What kinds of sources do historians of social movements draw upon. Are they different from ‘traditional’ historical sources? How reliable are they?
What is the different between memories of feminism and the history of feminism?
How is it possible for historians to measure the impact of the WLM?
This week will include a lecture from Dr. Angela Davis on using oral histories of the WLM.
*J. Rees, "Are you a Lesbian?": Challenges in Recording and Analysing the Women's Liberation Movement in England, History Workshop Journal 69 (Spring 2010) 177-87
Sarah Browne, ‘“A Veritable Hotbed of Feminism”: Women’s Liberation in St. Andrews, Scotland, c.1968- c. 1978, Twentieth Century British History 23:1, 100-123 (2012)
L. Adkins, ‘Passing on Feminism: From Consciousness to Reflexivity?, European Journal of Women’s Studies 11:427 (2004), 427- 444
A. Davis, ‘A Critical Perspective on British Social Surveys and Community Studies and their Accounts of Married Life c. 1945-1970’, Cultural and Social History 6 (2009) 47-64
N. Fraser, ‘Feminism, Capitalism and the Cunning of History’, New Left Review 56 (March- April 2009), 97-117
*C. Hemmings, ‘Telling feminist stories’, Feminist Theory 6:115 (2005), 115-139
[This is not available online at Warwick. Please ask me in advance for a copy]
Feminism and Racism 1980-2011
Questions to ponder whilst you read…
Was the WLM a predominantly white movement?
To what extent did the identity of ‘feminist’ in the 1970s and 80s include/ exclude black women?
What parallels/ differences can you identify between these debates and those which took place in the nineteenth-century?
*V. Amos & Pratibha Parmar, ‘Challenging Imperial Feminism’, Feminist Review 17 (Autumn 1984), 3-21
Carmen, Gail, Sheila and Pratibha, ‘Becoming Visible: Black Lesbian Discussions’ , Feminist Review 17 (Autumn 1984), 53-74
E.B. Freedman, ‘Race and the Politics of Identity in US Feminism’, in V.L. Ruiz & E.C. Dubois, Unequal Sisters: An Inclusive Reader in US Women’s History, pp.1-14
Or in No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women (2002)
H. Safia Mirza, ‘Introduction: Mapping a Genealogy of Black British Feminism’, in H. Safia Mirza, Black British Feminism (1997), pp.1-28 [a very useful overview]
A. Wilson, ‘Finding a Voice: Asian Women in Britain’, in H. Safia Mirza, Black British Feminism (1997), 31-36
bell hooks, Ain’t I a Woman? (1982) [esp. chapters 4 and 5]
*Nathalie Thomlinson, 'The Colour of Feminism: White feminists and Race in the Women's Liberation Movement' History 97:327, pp.453 - 475.
‘Post-feminism’ and the ‘third wave’
Questions to ponder whilst you read…
Is there such a thing as the ‘third wave’? If so, how is it different from what went before?
Is there such a thing as a common experience of ‘womanhood’ around which feminists can unite?
Has third wave feminism been more successful in addressing questions of ‘difference’ around race, sexuality and class?
Why and in what ways might feminism be said to have declined or ‘dispersed’ in the last twenty years?
Is third wave feminism feminist?
P. Patel, ‘Third Wave Feminism and Black Women’s Activism’, in H. Safia Mirza, Black British Feminism (1997), 255-267
D. Hernandez & B. Rehman, Colonise This! Young Women of Color in Today’s Feminism (Berkeley: Seal Press, 2002)
J. Dean, Rethinking Contemporary Feminist Politics (2010)
*J. Dean, ‘Who’s Afraid of Third Wave Feminism? On the Uses of the “third wave” in British Feminist Politics’, International Feminist Journal of Politics 11:3, 334-352 (2009) [get a photocopy from me]
*A. McRobbie, The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change (2009)
K. Aune & C. Redfern, Reclaiming the F Word: The New Feminist Movement (2010)
C. Scharff, Repudiating Feminism: Young Women in a Neo-Liberal World (2012)
S. Gillis, G. Howie & R. Munford, Third Wave Feminism: A Critical Exploration (2004)
S. Budgeon , Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Gender in Late Modernity (2011)
Do We Still Need Feminism?
Read these ‘popular’ books on feminism. Could you write something better? Drawing on your knowledge of theory and history from this course, write a presentation on the kind of book about contemporary feminism you think needs to be written. Do we even need feminism today? Maybe your book will argue otherwise. Does your historical analysis lead you to different conclusions to those outlined in these books?
K. Banyard, The Equality Illusion: The Truth About Men and Women Today (2010)
N. Power, One Dimensional Woman (2009)
N. Walters, Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism (2010)
L. Penny, Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism (2011)