Blog and News, Events, Seminars

[RESCHEDULED] 15 March 2023: Gender and Literary Engagement

ANNOUNCEMENT: In solidarity with the University and College Union (UCU) strikes taking place across the UK, this seminar session has now been RESCHEDULED.

Sign-ups are still open, but please stay tuned for the announcement of our rescheduled date. This seminar will no longer take place on Wednesday, 15 March.

Join us for the very first seminar of our Spring 22/23 series!

Jessica Hodgkinson (Leicester) and Josie Olsen (Auckland) will speak on women in the historic literary sphere, sharing their research on uncovering women’s voices in early medieval literature and the responses of readers to American Vogue from the 1960s-80s.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023, 4pm GMT (UK).

Sign up on Zoom now!

‘Patrons, Scribes, and Readers: Finding Women in Early Medieval Manuscripts’ (Jessica Hodgkinson)

Through an exploration of some of the surviving manuscript evidence, this paper will discuss the active participation of women in the production and use of books in early medieval Western Europe. It will reflect on what these manuscripts can tell us about how and why women participated in literate culture, and what these books can reveal about the individual women themselves.

About Jessica


Jessica Hodgkinson is a final year PhD researcher at the University of Leicester funded by the Midlands4Cities doctoral training partnership. Her thesis is entitled “Gender and Literacy: the participation of women in book culture in England and Francia, c.650 – c.950”.


‘Writing the Editor: Readers’ Responses to American Vogue, 1965-1985′ (Josie Olsen)

American Vogue’s letters to the editor 1965-1985 reveal a curious, intelligent, diverse and passionate readership. Far from uncritically accepting the magazine’s postfeminist content as gospel, readers wrote in to critique everything from the use of African people as photoshoot props to Vogue’s focus on working women and devaluation of homemakers. Letters also pinpoint the conflicting messages perpetuated by the magazine, such as too-thin models undermining the articles on anorexia. Despite the incisive thinking of their authors, however, the cross-section of letters selected by the editors for publication effectively worked to cement Vogue’s authority on these same issues, challenging the content of the magazine just enough to affirm Vogue’s reputation for intelligence and forward thinking.

About Josie


Josie is a final-year PhD student at the University of Auckland in Aotearoa New Zealand. Her thesis, ‘Postfeminism and Health: Body Management in 1970s Vogue’, examines postfeminist and healthist themes in content on smoking, dieting, and eating disorders in British, American and Italian Vogue 1965-1985. Her other research interests include feminist theory, practise and activism, and her personal interests include knitting, cuddling dogs, and dancing.

Sign up now for a place in our Zoom webinar.

The seminar will also be livestreamed on Facebook and available for 24 hours.

Tagged , , , ,