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The biography of an insurgent woman

Elizabeth Wolstenholme Elmy (1833–1918) was one of the most significant pioneers of the British women's emancipation movement, though her importance is little recognised. Wolstenholme Elmy referred to herself as an ‘initiator’ of movements, and she was at the heart of every campaign Victorian feminists conducted — her most well-known position being that of secretary of the Married Women's Property Committee from 1867–82. A fierce advocate of human rights, as the secretary of the Vigilance Association for the Defence of Personal Rights, Wolstenholme Elmy earned the nickname of the ‘parliamentary watch-dog’ from Members of Parliament anxious to escape her persistent lobbying. Also a feminist theorist, she believed wholeheartedly in the rights of women to freedom of their person, and was the first woman ever to speak from a British stage on the sensitive topic of conjugal rape. Wolstenholme Elmy engaged theoretically with the rights of the disenfranchised to exert force in pursuit of the vote, and Emmeline Pankhurst lauded her as ‘first’ among the infamous suffragettes of the Women's Social and Political Union. As a lifelong pacifist, however, she resigned from the WSPU Executive in the wake of increasingly violent activity from 1912. A prolific correspondent, journalist, speaker and political critic, Wolstenholme Elmy left significant resources, believing they ‘might be of value’ to historians. This book draws on a great deal of this documentation to produce a portrait that does justice to her achievements as a lifelong ‘Insurgent woman’.

Open Access (free)
Judith Squires

understandings of the private, feminist theorists have demanded the explicit recognition of yet another public–private distinction. Neither of the liberal distinctions explicitly invokes the family (which cannot be assumed to be synonymous with the personal sphere of intimacy). By contrast, a third form of the public–private distinction opposes the public, comprising both the state and civil society, with the private, defined

in Political concepts
Open Access (free)
Donna Beth Ellard

This essay searches Beowulf for scenes of childbirth and infant caregiving, moving from the poem’s opening description of the orphaned Scyld Scefing to think about Beowulf’s own early childhood experiences. Drawing on Old English, Anglo-Latin, and Old Norse sources as well as contemporary feminist theorists of affect and the family, the essay explores a backdrop of early medieval abandoned children, which illuminates the intimate ties shared by both Scyld and Beowulf. Although Beowulf may seem unconcerned with childhood or parenting, ‘anecdotes of parent–child bonds populate all corners of the poem’, and ‘[f]ar from being ignored or rendered incidental, the domestic origins and early childhood events of these heroes create an organizing “pulse” for the adult activities of Scyld and Beowulf’. Moreover, the abandonment of Scyld and Beowulf can be repositioned as an act of complex care that manifests attachments beyond the immediate purview of one’s biological family and cultural community.

in Dating Beowulf

Women Art Workers constitutes the first comprehensive history of the network of women who worked at the heart of the English Arts and Crafts movement from the 1870s to the 1930s. Challenging the long-standing assumption that the Arts and Crafts simply revolved around celebrated male designers like William Morris, this book instead offers a new social and cultural account of the movement, which simultaneously reveals the breadth of the imprint of women art workers upon the making of modern society. Thomas provides unprecedented insight into how women – working in fields such as woodwork, textiles, sculpture, painting, and metalwork – navigated new authoritative roles as ‘art workers’ by asserting expertise across a range of interconnected cultures so often considered in isolation: from the artistic to the professional, intellectual, entrepreneurial, and domestic. Through examination of newly discovered institutional archives and private papers, and a wide range of unstudied advertisements, letters, manuals, photographs, and calling cards, Women Art Workers elucidates the critical importance of the spaces around which women conceptualised alternative creative and professional lifestyles: guild halls, exhibitions, homes, studios, workshops, and the cityscape. Shattering the traditional periodisation of the movement as ‘Victorian’, this research reveals that the early twentieth century was a critical juncture at which women art workers became ever more confident in promoting their own vision of the Arts and Crafts. Shaped by their precarious gendered positions, they opened up the movement to a wider range of social backgrounds and interests, and redirected the movement’s radical potential into contemporary women-centred causes.

Place, space and discourse
Editors: and

Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.

Abstract only
Fearghus Roulston

complicated image of how sectarianism functioned in their lives and in the punk scene, and that reducing these images to the bloodless rhetoric of ‘good relations’ between the two communities does their depth and texture a disservice. In her beautiful work on photography, history and blackness, the feminist theorist and historian Tina Campt reads (or ‘listens to’, in her formulation) a series of passport photographs stored in the Ernest Dyche Collection at Birmingham City Archives. The Dyches, she says ‘were the photographers of

in Belfast punk and the Troubles
Abstract only
Matt York

continue our struggle and work’. 37 This emergence of love as a radical ethic and political methodology for black feminism in the 1970s served to lay the groundwork for coalition building in and across the movements of the time. Likewise, a central theme of the work of feminist theorist bell hooks has been the construction of an activist approach to social

in Love and revolution
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Sara Mills

) and a particular way of viewing and experiencing landscape (the country is there to be mastered as a test of an individual’s strength of will). Thus, gender needs to be seen to be at work in this type of textual structure and stereotype. Most feminist theorists seem to assume a progressive model of feminism and change in the way women can act as agents. Perhaps Catherine Belsey was one of the first to develop a trend within feminist theory which was no longer committed to this notion of progress, since for her, although there have been

in Gender and colonial space
Nicole Vitellone

analyses of pornography in the 1990s, particularly the writings post AIDS, the male body and the penis took centre 80 Object matters stage. Feminist theorists such as Segal (1992, 1994, 1997), Williams (1990), Patton (1989), McClintock (1992), Bordo (1994, 1997) and Waldby (1995) were concerned with the differences between the representation of the naked male body and real men’s bodies. In such analyses the phallus is figured in the context of the pornographic image itself, an image that contrasts with the real male body. This perceived difference between the

in Object matters
Claire Murray

concludes that it is important to care about carers, but doing so must be in a manner which continues to respect the distinct individual rights of each of the parties to the caring relationship. The situated subject, relational autonomy and rights There are theoretical, legal and practical reasons why it makes sense to acknowledge within the legal framework that individuals exist in relationships with others. Arguably the strongest reason to do this is because it is in fact the reality of the situation. Feminist theorists and others arguing from a critical perspective

in Ethical and legal debates in Irish healthcare