Events, Events

Celebrating Women’s Histories: WHN Midlands online conference, 30 April

Saturday 30 April 2022 marks the relaunch of the Midlands Region branch of the Women’s History Network. The branch will hold two conferences each year, one in April (usually at a museum or heritage site, with a modest charge for attendance) and one in November (online, attendance free). We invite you to attend our half day conference, celebrating women’s history and women historians, in the region. We are keen to invite those working on, or interested in, women’s history from all sectors to attend including, but not limited to, academia, community history groups, the heritage sector and others. Please register via Eventbrite to be sent the Zoom link.

The programme for the day is as follows:

10:30: Welcome (Prof. Maggie Andrews)

10:45: ‘Exploring and Emotiong Women’s History’, papers from Prof. Sarah Richardson and Anna Dearden, chaired by Edda Nicholson

11:45: Break

12:00: ‘Doing Women’s History’, papers from Kiran Sahota and Dr Cathy Hunt, chaired by Lisa Cox Davies

13:00: Closing remarks and half hour social

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us via email or on Twitter @WHN_Midlands.

You can also contact the branch chair, Anna Muggeridge at

Panel 1: Exploring and Emoting Women’s History (10:45 – 11:45)

Professor Sarah Richardson, University of Warwick

‘‘Ditch the Witch’: The Past History of Misogyny in Politics’

When Australian opposition leader, Tony Abbott, stood in front of a placard emblazoned ‘Ditch the Witch’ to criticise the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard the world was appalled at such blatant misogyny. However, such behaviour has a long history. This paper looks at the role of women in political life in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century in Britain and how they navigated male hostility and prejudice.

Anna Dearden, University of Birmingham

‘“No friends or connexions”: exploring sexually transgressive women’s experiences of love and loneliness c. 1740-1840’

This paper will explore the feelings and experiences of love and loveliness had by a specific group of women who engaged in same-sex intimacies c. 1740-1840. In doing so, it will expand upon the work of Heather Love, who argues that heartbreak and unfulfilled intimacies feature heavily within the feelings and identities of queer women and that, in this regard, it is the very loss of same-sex love that refigures it as ‘poignant, bittersweet, unfamiliar or partial, and in these senses, queer’. The paper will consider the female couples who achieved queer love, before moving on to study the ways in which the queer women who were unsuccessful in love attempted to alleviate their feelings of loss and loneliness

Panel 2: Doing Women’s History (12:00 – 13:00)

Kiran Sahota, Believe In Me, CIC

‘War, Women and Education’

This talk will explore the Indian contribution to wars, the missing voices of Indian women and why Indian soldiers were eager for Indian women to be educated. I will also be sharing a few snippets of my upcoming project ‘Indian Women and War’.

Dr Cathy Hunt, Independent Scholar

‘Local History, Coventry, and Me’

This talk is a reflection on what studying and working in Coventry has taught me about the importance and value of local history. I look back on a working journey with projects ranging from community oral history groups in the 1980s, women’s research groups in the 90s, to a PhD focused on women who lived in the city in the inter war years and a book about women’s lives between 1850 and 1950.