Calls for Papers, Events

Call for Papers: Women’s Grassroots Activism

How have grassroots women’s organisations effectively championed women’s rights, locally and globally, since 1918?

Keynote Speakers:

Prof Pat Thane, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

Prof Lynn Abrams, University of Glasgow, UK

As part of our AHRC-funded Network ‘Agency and Advocacy: Locating women’s grassroots activism’, we invite 15-minute papers on any aspect of women’s activism at the grassroots from 1918 to the present day in the United Kingdom and/or Ireland. We are seeking to explore how and where grassroots women’s organisations have made a tangible difference to the lives of women and their communities since 1918. Additionally, the conference aims to foster discussion with current members of women’s organisations including the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA), the Soroptimists and the Women’s Institutes (WI), to identify how past activism can inform current campaigns, locally and globally.

Papers may address (but are not limited to) women’s activism in organisations which campaign on a single issue; in non-partisan organisations such as the ICA or WI; in party-political organisations at the local/grassroots level, or in ‘formal’ political spaces such as local government, though participants should note that our aim is to build a history of women’s activism from the ‘bottom up’.

The conference takes an interdisciplinary approach, and we welcome abstracts from those working on women’s grassroots activism across a range of academic disciplines, including history, sociology, political science, heritage and museums, and/or the arts. We are also extremely keen to hear from past and current activists interested in sharing their experiences. Proposals should be submitted as: 15 minute individual papers; panels of three individual 15 minute papers; or as roundtable discussions of approximately 45 minutes.

The conference will be held online via Zoom on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 January 2024. Please submit your abstract of no more than 250 words, plus a short biography by Monday 9 October 2023 to Successful speakers will be notified by Friday 27 October 2023.

We particularly encourage submissions from postgraduate and Early Career Researchers. Participants in the conference will also be invited to attend panels led by the Network Co-ordinators, Prof Caitríona Beaumont and Dr Anne Logan, on conducting participatory research with grassroots organisations. If you are a PGR/ECR and would like to attend these panels please be in touch at the above address.

The conference is organised by Prof. Caitríona Beaumont and Dr Anne Logan, with support from Rachel Collett, Dr Ruth Davidson and Dr Anna Muggeridge.