Discussion Group

London Seminar/Reading Group Series

Autumn 2013

We’re excited to announce that we will be holding a discussion and reading group in the autumn of 2013 at the IHR around the theme of the second wave feminist movement. Sessions will be around 90 minutes and will be held at Senate House, Russell Square. Anyone with an interest in the history of Feminism is welcome.

The suggested readings are a work in progress – please get in touch if you have any additions, comments, or suggestions! If you do not have access to journals or articles, please contact history.feminism@gmail.com and we’ll try to send them to you. 

  • 17.10.13 – 5.30pm – the second wave feminist movement, motherhood and reproduction (room: stb2)

There is no single ‘required’ reading for this discussion theme, but books you may want to look at include (not limited to – please suggest more)

Adrienne Rich, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as an Experience and Institution (available here: http://ressourcesfeministes.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/of-women-born-motherhood-as-experience-and-institution.pdf )

Ann Oakley, Becoming a Mother (New York, 1980)

Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (USA , 1963 – any edition is fine!)

Carol Dix, The New Mother Syndrome: Coping with Post-Natal Stress and Depression (London, 1986)

Denise Riley, War in the Nursery: Theories of Child and Mother, 1983  and Denise Riley “War in the Nursery” Feminist Review No. 2 (1979), pp. 82-108

Elizabeth Badinter, Mother Love: Myth and Reality (Paris, 1980)

Hannah Gavron, The Captive Wife (Middlesex, 1968)

Marsha Rowe, “Changing Childcare” Spare Rib – also in Spare Rib Reader (Middlesex, 1982)

Rivka Polatnick, M. 1996.  Diversity in Women’s Liberation Ideology : How a Black and a White Group of the 1960s Viewed Motherhood. Signs, 21(3), 679–706.

Toni Morrison, Beloved
31.10.13 – 5.15pm – the second wave feminist movement, bodies, and sexualities.

PLEASE NOTE THAT OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE UCU/UNITE/UNISON STRIKE, THIS SESSION HAS MOVED OUT OF SENATE HOUSE TO CAFE PARADISO ON STORE STREET http://www.storestreetbloomsbury.co.uk/shop-eat/caffe-paradiso/. We have a space reserved downstairs at 5.15pm. 

There is no single ‘required’ reading for this discussion theme, but books you may want to look at include (not limited to – please suggest more)

Bowleg, L. “Triple Jeopardy and Beyond: Multiple Minority Stress and Resilience among Black Lesbians.” Journal of Lesbian Studies 7(4) (2003): 87-108.

Brownmiller, S. Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape. Simon and Schuster, 1975. (exert here: http://communication.illinoisstate.edu/jaglasc/com128/readings/brownmiller.pdf)

Butler, J. Bodies that Matter: on the Discursive Limits of “Sex”. New York: Routledge, 1993.

Fausto-Sterling, A. Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of  Sexuality. New York: Basic Books, 2000.

Foucault, M.  The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 (any ed)

Greer, G. The Female Eunuch (any ed) – http://khurrambukhari.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/the-female-enuch.pdf

Grosz, E. Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1994.

Hartouni, V. Cultural Conceptions: On Reproductive Technologies and the Remaking of Life. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.

King, K. 1992. “Producing sex, theory and culture: gay/straight remappings in contemporary feminism”. In Conflicts in feminism, edited by M. Hirsch and E.F. Keller. Routledge, London.

Linden, R.R. Et al.  Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis. Frog in the Well, 1982.

Mackinnon, C. “Sexuality”. Available in The second Wave: a Reader in Feminist Theory.ed. Nicholson, L. London, Routledge. 1997 (available elsewhere)

Martin, E. The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction. Boston: Beacon Press, 1987.

McRobbie, A. “Pornographic Permutations” The Communication Review, 11: 225–236, 2008

Millett, K. Sexual Politics (1977, but any ed)

Mimmack, J. “Physical Relationships and the Disabled Woman” Spare Rib Reader

Moi, T. Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory

O’Sullivan, S. I Used to be Nice: Sexual Affairs. Continuum, 1999.

Parker, R. “If The Cap Fits” Spare Rib Reader 1982

Radicalesbians “The Woman Identified Woman” The second Wave: a Reader in Feminist Theory. ed. Nicholson, L. London, Routledge. 1997.

Rich, A. “Compulsory heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” available here: http://ws301spring2008.wikispaces.com/file/view/Compulsory+Heterosexuality.pdf

Sjoo, M. “A Woman’s Right Over her Body” in The Body Politics: Women’s Liberation in Britain 1968-1972. Ed. Wandor , M. 1972.

Whitling, P. “Female Sexuality: its Political Implications” in The Body Politic: Women’s Liberation in Britain 1968-1972. Ed. Wandor , M. 1972.

Wilson, E. “Gut Feminism,” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies  15.3 (2004): 66-94.

14.11.13 – 5.15pm – the second wave feminist movement and race (room STB7)

There is no single required reading for this session, though we would encourage readers to prioritise texts by black women and authors of colour if pressed for time. This list is a work in progress, so please email any suggestions!

Amos, V., Lewis, G. Mama, A. and Parmar, P. (eds). “Many voices, one chant: Black feminist perspectives”. Feminist Review, 17, 1984, pp. 3-19.

Arshad, R. ‘The Scottish Black Women’s Group’, in Grit and Diamonds: Women in Scotland Making History 1980–1990, ed. Shirley Henderson and Alison MacKay (Edinburgh, 1990)

Aziz, R. 1992. “Feminism and the Challenge of Racism: Deviance or Difference?” In Knowing Women: Feminism and Knowledge, edited by Helen Crowley and Susan Himmelweit, 291–305. Cambridge: Polity Press.Bhavnani, K.-K., 2001. Feminism and “Race”. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Bolt, C. 2004. Sisterhood questioned?: Race, Class and Internationalism in the American and British Women’s Movements, c.1880s-1970s. London and New York: Routledge.

Bourne, J.  ‘Towards an Anti–Racist Feminism’, Race and Class, xxv (1983), 1–22

Bryan, B. 1985. Heart Of The Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain. London: Virago.

Carby, H. 1982. “White Woman Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood.” In The Empire Strikes Back: Race and Racism in 70s Britain, edited by Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, 211–234. London: Hutchingson.

Howard-Bostic, C. D. “Stepping out of the third wave: A contemporary Black feminist paradigm”  http://forumonpublicpolicy.com/summer08papers/archivesummer08/howardbostic.pdf

Grewal, S. 1988. Charting the journey: writings by black and Third World women. London, Sheba Feminist Publishers.

Gupta, R. (Ed.), 2003. From Homebreakers to Jailbreakers: Southall Black Sisters. London: Zed Books Ltd.

James, S.  Strangers & Sisters: Women, Race & Immigration. (Falling Wall Press, 1985.)

Jarrett-Macauley, D., 1996. Reconstructing Womanhood, Reconstructing Feminism: Writings on Black Women. London: Routledge.

Lewis, G., 1996. Situated Voices: “Black Women’s Experience’ and Social Work. Feminist Review 24–56.

Mirza, H.S., 1997. Black British Feminism: A Reader. London: Routledge.

Osler, A., 1989. Speaking Out: Black Girls in Britain. London: Virago Press.

Parmar, P., 1990. ‘Black Feminism: the Politics of Articulation’, in: Rutherford, J. (ed.), Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. London: Lawrence & Wishart, pp. 101–126.

Samantrai, R. 2002. AlterNatives: Black feminism in the Postimperial nation. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Southall Black Sisters. Against the Grain, 1979-1989: A Celebration of Survival & Struggle. (London: Southall Black Sisters, 1990.)

Swaby, N. [talk] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUeph0BLZ0I 

Thomlinson, N. ‘The Colour of Feminism: White feminists and race in the Women’s Liberation Movement’ History 97 (vol 327),pp. 453 – 475

Ware, V. 1992. Beyond the Pale: White Women, Racism, and History. London: Verso Press.

Webster, W, 1998. Imagining Home: Gender, Race And National Identity, 1945-1964. London: Routledge.

Williams, C. 1993. We Are a Natural Part of Many Different Struggles: Black Women Organizing, in: Winston, J., Harris, C. (eds.), Inside Babylon: The Caribbean Diaspora in Britain. London: Verso Press. pp. 153 – 164.

Wilson, A. 2006. Dreams, Questions, Struggles: South Asian Women in Britain (Pluto)

Young, L., 2000. What is Black British Feminism? Women: a Cultural Review 11, 45–60.

Zajicek, A. 2002. ‘Race Discourses and Anti–Racist Practices in a Local Women’s Movement’, Gender and Society, xvi, 155–74, at 164–5.

  • – socialism, class politics, and the second wave feminist movement (Court Room)

‘The Night-Cleaners’ Campaign’ Shrew

A Secretary ‘twentieth-century Servants’, The Body Politic: Women’s Liberation in Britain 1969-1972 Ed. Wandor , M. London: Stage 1.

Barrett, M. ‘Capitalism and Women’s Liberation’ The second Wave: a Reader in Feminist Theory. ed. Nicholson, L. London, Routledge. 1997.

BERGMANN, B. ‘The Economics of Women’s Liberation’ Challenge. Vol. 16, No. 2 (MAY/JUNE 1973).

Claimants’ Union ‘women and unemployment’, The Body Politic: Women’s Liberation in Britain 1969-1972

Harris, H. ‘Black Women and Work’, The Body Politic: Women’s Liberation in Britain 1969-1972

Lloyd, L. ‘Women, Work, and Equal Pay’, The Body Politic: Women’s Liberation in Britain 1969-1972

Marcuse, H. ‘Marxism and feminism‘ Differences, 2006, 2007, Vol.17 (1)

Mitchell, J. Women’s Estate. Penguin Books, New York, 1971.

Nicholson, L. ‘Feminism and Marx’ The second Wave: a Reader in Feminist Theory. ed. Nicholson, L. London, Routledge. 1997.

Phillips, A. Marxism and Feminism. In Feminist Anthology Collective.  1981.

Roberts, C., and E. Millar. 1978. “Feminism, Socialism and Abortion.” Women’s Studies International Quarterly 1 (1): 3–14.

Starkey, P. 2000. “The Feckless Mother: Women , Poverty and Social Workers in Wartime and Post-War England.” Women’s History Review 9 (3): 539–557.

Trodd, F. ‘Women and the Trade Unions’ The Body Politic: Women’s Liberation in Britain 1969-1972

Zmroczek, C. 1992. “Women, Class, and Washing Machines, 1920-1960S.” Women’s History Review 15 (2): 173–185.

12.12.13 – 5.15pm – taking stock: writing and researching histories of the second wave feminist movement (Room G21A)

Jeska Rees ‘Are you a Lesbian?’: Challenges in Recording and Analysing the Women’s Liberation Movement in England’,  History Workshop Journal Issue 69, Spring 2010 pp. 177-187

Jeska Rees, ‘A Look Back in Anger: The Women’s Liberation Movement in 1978’, Women’s History Review 19:3 (2010), 337-356

Laura Lee Downs, Writing Gender history

Catherine Grant, Fans of Feminism: Re-writing Histories of Second-wave Feminism in Contemporary Art Oxford Art Journal, 2011, Vol. 34(2), pp.265-286

Please note that readings are suggested rather than endorsed. We encourage a critical reading and hope to facilitate discussion in a respectful environment.

Attendees are welcome to bring children or babies along to sessions.
Please let us know if any attendee needs or would like any accommodating steps to be taken (i.e. for the hard of hearing). We will do our absolute best to make the group as accessible to everyone as possible.
People of all identities are warmly welcomed to the reading and discussion group.
Thanks to Nydia Swaby and Terese Jonsson for their advice in putting together a reading list on the topic of race and Black feminisms.
There are a number of significant issues we would very much like to hold sessions on, such as gender, Trans* issues, and disability, and we hope to dedicate time to these in the future. We would encourage readers and attendees to bear these topics in mind and to bring them into discussions. Please do contact us with any suggested readings or session themes you would like to attend in the future.

Other Sources

This website http://suffolk.libguides.com/content.php?pid=118195&sid=1240962 provides links to websites that may have uploads of interesting primary material.

Videos available from the BBC archive – http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/70sfeminism/10407.shtml



The 2009-2010 seminar series was held in association with the Birkbeck Institute for Gender and Sexuality: Postcolonial approaches to feminism

Over the last 3 decades, post-colonial studies have had a profound impact upon the study and practice of feminism. Historians have had increasingly to look to a multiplicity of ‘feminisms’ that emerged globally in the last two centuries. Meanwhile, study of what was traditionally labelled ‘first wave feminism’ (Anglo-American women’s movements of the nineteenth-century) has been transformed through the recognition of the extent to which western women’s claims for emancipation were bound up with imperialist and oppressive conceptions of citizenship. Postcolonial critiques have also been one of the most important factors in challenging and re-shaping feminist activism since at least 1980, with many assumptions about our ability to call for ‘universal’ liberation and to support women’s rights across the globe having been overturned.

This seminar series sought to take account of these developments, and to ask where they leave us today – for both the theory and practice of feminism. We re-visited classic texts of postcolonial histories of feminism, and heard from new scholars working in this field. We asked to what extent post-colonialism had succeeded in re-formulating historians’ periodisation and definitions of ‘feminism’. We also wanted to re-visit key feminist concepts such as ‘agency’, ‘difference’, ‘representation’ and ‘citizenship’ and to ask, in the light of post-colonial critiques, whether they continue to be of use to us as both historical concepts and political tools. Can a post-colonial analysis of inequities of power between women become the beginning rather than the end of a conversation about the possibility of transnational feminism and the building of solidarity across borders?

The seminars were designed to be for both academics and activists, as a space that encouraged us to both approach ‘academic’ research in a politicised frame and to theoretically ground our ‘political’ activism. We read both historical and theoretical texts, and although our discussions sought to take a historical view of the questions we address, we also welcomed feminist scholars from a variety of disciplines.

The Programme

The seminars took the form of a reading group. Participants read the texts in advance and came along ready to discuss them.

16th Oct.  Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Imperial Context (Introduction and chapter 1).

13th Nov. Antoinette Burton, Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women, and Imperial Culture, 1865-1915 & Sara Ahmed, ‘A Phenomenology of Whiteness’, Feminist Theory, 8 (2) (2007), 149-68; Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology: orientations, objects, others (Durham, 2006).

18th Dec. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’, in Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg,  Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998), pp. 271-313.

22nd Jan – Seminar Paper: ‘Motherhood and Other Work in Indian and
“Western” Feminist Theory’ Dr Elizabeth Jackson (Birkbeck). Please
email the seminar conveners in advance for a copy of the paper.

19th Feb – Reading group: ‘Gay Imperialism: Gender and Sexuality
Discourse in the “War on Terror”‘ by Jin Haritaworn, Tamsila Tauqir
and Esra Erdem, in Out of Place: Interrogating Silences in
Queerness/Raciality (2008) edited by Adi Kunstman & Esperanza Miyake
(Raw Nerve, 2008 – now withdrawn). Available as a pdf on
www.xtalkproject.net, to be read alongside the online debate ‘On the
Censorship of Gay Imperialism’.

26th March – Seminar Paper: ‘Contesting Femininity: Sexual Violence
during “Gujarat 2002″‘ Dr Megha Kumar (Past and Present Fellow, IHR).
Please email the seminar conveners in advance for a copy of the paper.
Where can I find a list of past papers?

For papers presented/discussed in 2008-2009, please click here.

For papers presented/discussed in 2007-2008, please click here.

For papers presented/discussed in 2006-2007, please click here.

3 thoughts on “Discussion Group

  1. Pingback: Feminist Events Listings, presented by Storm In A Teacup | Feminist Times

  2. Pingback: History of Feminism reading group and discussion on motherhood… | motherhoodandtheacademy

  3. Hi all

    I was using tobacco since I was thirteen years old.

    I began making use of electronic cigarettes since Sept of 2011.

    We have not smoked standard cigs since that time.

    The effect has been extraordinary to my overall health.

    The harmful effects of tobacco cigarettes have been reduced and I feel good.

    Now i encourage everyone to try those to boost their overall health.

    I look forward to reading through and chatting with this group


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s