24/03/18: Stories of Women | A day of talks exploring women’s history

Women's suffrage

Southwark Cathedral presents a day of talks about women, looking at their stories, old and new.

To mark a century of women’s suffrage, we will be celebrating the history of those who fought to get the vote.

10.00am – 11.00am | Elizabeth Crawford – Pictures and Politics: the art of suffrage propaganda

The early-20th-century women’s suffrage campaign was the most visual of all those conducted by contemporary pressure groups. This illustrated talk will discuss the wide range of art and artefacts – posters, postcards, cartoons, banners, china, and jewellery – created by artists sympathetic to the suffrage cause and reveal something of their creators, many of whose lives have hitherto been un-regarded. The talk will draw on material that appears in my new book, Art and Suffrage: a biographical dictionary of suffrage artists, published by Francis Boutle Publishers in January 2018 (£20).

Elizabeth Crawford is the author of many books and articles on suffrage history – including The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide, The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a regional survey, and Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s suffrage diary.

11.15am – 12.15pm | Caitlin Davies – The Hollowayettes: the Suffragettes at Holloway Prison

On 21 June 1906 a twenty-nine-year-old woman from Lancashire became the first suffragette to be sent to Holloway Prison. Over the following eight years, the jail became a graduating university for militants.

The suffragettes’ experience would forever change the way the British public viewed the incarceration of women. But while the popular image remains one of forcible feeding, Bad Girls tells of their resistance to prison discipline, culminating in a bomb attack of 1913.

Caitlin Davies is a novelist, non-fiction author and award-winning journalist. Bad Girls: A History of Rebels and Renegades is published by John Murray on International Women’s Day, March 8th 2018.

1:30pm – 2.45pm | Tessa Dunlop – The Century Girls – The Final Word from the Women Who’ve Lived the Last Hundred Years of British History

In 2018 Britain will celebrate the centenary of women getting the vote; during the intervening ten decades the lives of women in this country have been transformed. Told in their own voices, The Century Girls celebrates seven centenarians who lived that change: what they saw, how they were treated, who they loved, what they did and where they are now. With stories that are intimately knitted into the history of these islands, The Century Girls is a time-travel adventure featuring society’s oldest, most precious national treasures.

Tessa Dunlop is a television presenter, radio broadcaster and historian. She has presented history programmes for the BBC, Discovery Channel Europe, Channel 4, UKTV History and the History Channel (US). She lives in south London.

3.15pm – 4.45pm | Make More Noise! Suffragettes in Silent Cinema

This selection of silent films from the BFI National Archive shows how suffragettes were portrayed on the cinema screen while their battles were still being waged on the streets outside.

The suffragettes’ tactic was to stand up at every public event and cry ‘votes for women!’ As leader Emmeline Pankhurst said in her legendary speech of November 1913: ‘You have to make more noise than anybody else, you have to make yourself more obtrusive than anybody else, you have to fill all the papers more than anybody else. In fact you have to be there all the time and see that they do not snow you under.’ And that meant film too: cinema was born just as the campaign was gathering momentum – and the suffragettes made it their business to get in front of the cameras!

This fascinating compilation of 21 short films – with a specially commissioned score by Lillian Henley – combines newsreels and documentaries with early comedies. Some offer grotesque parodies of female militants (often played by men in drag), but others feature unruly girl children who wreak havoc and still have the last laugh… These gloriously anarchic comedies reveal as much about young women’s aspirations as do the newsreels of demonstrations, arson attacks and other dramatic provocations.

A ticket for the day allows entry to each talk.

Books for each talk will be available to purchase.

Your ticket entitles you to 10% off in the Cathedral Refectory and Shop. Please ensure you have your ticket with you if you decide to use this facility for lunch or wish to purchase from the shop.


Upcoming Events

Job Board Banner

Related Posts