Women’s History

Celebrate the Archives in Women’s History Month by Dr. Janis Lomas

In this post, Dr. Janis Lomas tells us about her role in ensuring that the papers of The War Widows’ Association were preserved.

When I began a PhD over 30 years ago one of the organisations  I contacted was The War Widows’  Association and asked if they’d put out an appeal in their newsletter for any war widows who were prepared to fill in a questionnaire and perhaps be willing to be interviewed by me at a later date. I compiled a very basic, rather naive questionnaire and eventually received 62 replies. Around the same time I met one of …

Reflections on Women’s History Month by Professor Maggie Andrews

In this fascinating blog, our committee chair, Professor Maggie Andrews reflects on what women’s history means to her.

March is Women’s History Month a chance for those in WHN and beyond to share their passion, curiosity and enthusiasm about the multiple complex and contradictory histories of women. It is an opportunity explore the ways in which women have made and been made by history and to celebrate some of the wonderful research and activities that are going on. Women’s history now has a place in museums and heritage organisations, it adorns the shelves of libraries and bookshops, is studied by …

Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape, 1700-1830 By Dr Briony McDonagh Winner of the 2018 Women’s History Network Book Prize

In this post we hear from the 2018 WHN book prize winner, Dr. Briony McDonagh about her monograph: Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape, 1700-1830.

The book and the related research project emerged out of a realisation that there was shockingly little written about the women who owned and improved large landed estates. Whenever one visited a country house or picked up a book on the aristocracy, one learnt lots about the male landowners who pushed forward parliamentary enclosure and agricultural improvement on their estates. But nothing about female landowners and farmers and their contributions to landscape change. Social and …

Unreported History: the National Convention for the Defence of the Civic Rights of Women, October 1903, By Dr. Maureen Wright.

Unreported History: the National Convention for the Defence of the Civic Rights of Women, October 1903

©Dr. Maureen Wright, University of Chichester, founder and lead of Women’s Political Rights,  www.womenspoliticalrights.uk

It might be fair to say that for many women’s suffrage scholars October 1903 is a date best known for the founding of the militant Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) by Emmeline Pankhurst. However, just a week later, in Holborn Town Hall, an event took place which was equally as significant to the British campaign for Votes for Women. Mrs Pankhurst chose not to attend this event, but over …

Blitzmädels an die Front: A Lesser Known Female War Film

‘Women, Oberführerin,belong in the kitchen and in bed.’[1]Oberleutnant Wagner’s scathing dismissal of women at war epitomises the gender challenges faced by Oberführerin Hanna Helmke and her female air signals assistants in “Blitzmädels an die Front” (‘Lightning Girls on the Front’). Released on 22 August 1958, this obscure West German war film follows a fictional group of young German women who serve alongside the Luftwaffe (German air force) during the Second World War. The real-life Blitzmädels (‘lightning girls’) they are based on – nicknamed after the lightning bolts on their uniform sleeves – received, deciphered and transmitted …