Centennial Reflections on Women’s Suffrage and the Arts

CENTENNIAL REFLECTIONS ON WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE AND THE ARTS

Local : National : Transnational

An international, multi-disciplinary public conference

University of Surrey, UK, 29–30 June 2018

Keynote Speakers:

  • Irene Cockroft, author of Women in the Arts & Crafts and Suffrage Movements at the Dawn of the 20th Century
  • Elizabeth Crawford, author of The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland

CFP: deadline for submissions 26 January 2018

Conference website: www.suffragecentennial.wordpress.com

The 2018 centenary of the Representation of the People Act (6 February 1918), which granted the vote to many women in the UK, yields an ideal opportunity for sustained critical reflection on women’s suffrage. This conference seeks to explore the artistic activities nurtured within the movement, their range and legacy, as well as the relationships between politics and art. In striving for an inclusive, transnational reach, it will at the same time seek to move beyond traditional emphases on white middle-class feminism and explore the intersections between the regional, national, and global contexts for women’s suffrage with specific respect to the arts.

While proposals addressing any aspects of women’s suffrage will be welcomed, this conference will focus upon three strands:

  1. Women’s suffrage in/and the arts
  2. Women’s suffrage in Surrey and the surrounds
  3. Transnational networks and flows of texts in relation to women’s suffrage

20-minute papers are invited on any aspect of these strands, including but not limited to:

  • Late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century women’s writing on suffrage;
  • Political reflections on the arts and the cultural sphere, e.g. in music;
  • Transnational networks and mobilities of political texts and ideas, incorporating suffrage movements in other countries;
  • Politically active individuals with strong links to Surrey (particularly in relation to the arts) e.g. Mary Watts, Dame Ethel Smyth, Gertrude Jekyll, Marion Wallace Dunlop;
  • Networks such as Ferguson’s Gang, Surrey Hills Group, Surrey Pilgrimage Group, and women who organised suffrage marches;
  • Sociological theories of women’s suffrage;
  • Contributions of women of colour to suffrage movements in Britain and globally;
  • Art (both historical and contemporary) inspired by women’s suffrage.

Proposals for panels of 3–4 papers (1.5–2 hours) are also warmly welcomed, as are proposals for one-hour roundtables of 3–5 participants. We encourage proposals from postgraduate students and independent scholars in addition to institutionally-affiliated established academics.

Planned activities include a panel discussion featuring artists who have been active in performing and creating works based on women’s suffrage and some of its key figures; a recital of the music of Dame Ethel Smyth; and a visit to the nearby Watts Gallery. We envisage that an edited publication will be developed from papers presented at the conference.

Abstracts of not more than 300 words should be e-mailed by 26 January 2018 to suffragecentennial@surrey.ac.uk. Decisions will be communicated to speakers by 23 February 2018. A limited number of student bursaries may be offered to offset costs of attendance.

Conference Committee: Christopher Wiley, Charlotte Mathieson, Lucy Ella Rose (co-chairs)

Enquiries: suffragecentennial@surrey.ac.uk

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