Welcome to our blog! This blog is intended as a starting point for conversations and big ideas and we are excited to have a place to share more in-depth information and where we can facilitate discussions between our Centre members.
More details: www.filia.org.uk
AMBS East, room B3: More info and booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/footsteps-to-inspire-lunchtime-seminar-tickets-50964460072
On Wednesday 26th September a group of us got together to learn more about the struggle for women’s suffrage. Pro-Vice Chancellor Julia Clarke was kind enough to launch our Symposium, with a reminder that we are working on having a plaque, in Sylvia’s memory, added to the School of Art building, where Sylvia studied. This might be delayed for a while, due to the current building works, but meanwhile we are working on remembering Sylvia’s work and art (above is a reproduction of one of the “Angels of Freedom” she designed for the W.S.P.U.).
Our first speaker was Dr Eleanor Byrne, from the English Department, talking about Edith Rigby’s incendiary act, on Rivington Pike. In 1913, Edith burned down a holiday home belonging to the Lever family, asking whether the house was more useful as one of many homes to a rich family or burning as a beacon “to King and Country to see here are some intolerable grievances for women”. Ellie’s talk had everyone thinking about the choices the suffragettes made and taught us all about someone a little less well known. Ellie also told everyone that Certain Curtain Theatre Company have a new play about Edith, currently touring.
Next up was Dr Fionna Barber from the School of Art, talking about Constance Markievicz and her sister Eva Gore-Booth. Both women worked for women’s suffrage and a range of other causes, including, in Constance’s case, Irish independence. That said, the two sisters took quite different approaches, with Constance able and willing to be involved in militant activism and Eva, a pacifist and vegetarian, aiming to work in quite different ways. We had a reproduction of an exhibition about the sisters, for everyone to look at and Fionna’s talk brought to life the day when Constance drove a coach and four through Manchester, stopping in Stevenson Square for Eva to climb on top of the coach and address to women workers.
I spoke last, talking about Sylvia’s legacy and our struggle to live up to her, within the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre. We then had a good discussion about the centenary celebration and what we might do next! The Symposium ended with some wonderful music from Annie Muse and Claire Mooney . Thank you to everyone who spoke and sang and especially to the students from Manchester Law School who helped out. Our next event will be in November and full details will follow shortly, so watch this space!
Co-head of the Sylvia, Dr Sally Jones, has recently published a paper in Gender, Work and Organization. The paper, titled “We were fighting for our place”: Resisting gender and knowledge regimes through feminist knowledge network formation” is available to read here: https://rdcu.be/6AMD
The Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre is pleased to announce our next event in celebration of the centenary of votes for some women. “Suffrage Symposium: A convivial discussion in words and music” is open to researchers, activists, students and everyone else interested in women’s rights. The event is on Wednesday 26th September, from 4-7 pm and features talks, discussion, music, exhibits, stalls and free refreshments. For full details and to book your FREE ticket please go to : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/suffrage-symposium-tickets-49294779011
Thank you, Kate.
On Saturday 15th September, the Cooperative College in Manchester is putting on a free open-air theatre show about Sylvia Pankhurst. This takes place in Sadler’s Yard in Manchester and you can read more and sign up to their mailing list here: https://www.co-op.ac.uk/Event/suffrage-in-the-city
It looks like a great event and is sure to be very popular.