Welcome to our blog!

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.

If you would like to write a guest blog please contact the Centre Heads Kate Cook k.cook@mmu.ac.uk or Sally Jones sjones@mmu.ac.uk


Here versus There: Beyond Comparison in Queer and Sexuality Politics

Monday 17 June and Tuesday 18 June 2019 – Maynooth University, Ireland


Photo by Brandi Ibrao on Unsplash

Registration Closes 24th May 2019

In sexual and gender politics, the Global North can be seen as ‘won’ and ‘sorted’, in contrast to a Global South that needs support to achieve Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and other sexual/gendered rights. This has specific effects both in places such as Ireland and the UK, where the politicisation of sexual and gendered lives moves ‘elsewhere’, and also for these ‘elsewheres’ marked as ‘unsafe’, ‘unfriendly’ and ‘backward’.  This conference will discuss both the creation of the binaries of here/there, Global North/Global South in terms of sexual and gender politics, legalities and geographies.

The opening keynote ‘Here, there, and here again: circuits of influence in global queer politics’ will be given by Rahul Rao on Thursday 17th June 2019 3-5pm followed by a day of exciting papers that explore a range of themes including, geopolitics, sexual and gendered lives, and legalities.

Tickets are available on the Maynooth shop here, with 2 fee options, supported €50 and unsupported €20

This event is Co Sponsored by Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute (MUSSI) and the Socio-Legal  Studies Association.

A Suffragette in America: Book Launch

Katherine Connelly new book A Suffragette in America: Reflections on Prisoners; Pickets and Political Change is an edition of Sylvia Pankhurst’s writing on her visits to North America in 1911-12.  The book is to be launched at the Pankhurst Centre on 2nd May at 2-3pm.  This is a free event and you can meet the author and buy a signed copy of the book.

Free tickets and full information here.  Do note this event is this Thursday!

Thank you,



Rare Sylvia Pankhurst Acquisition

The Working Class Movement Library in Salford has been able to get hold of a copy of a volume of the Woman’s Dreadnought, for 1915-16.  This paper was published by the East London Federation of Suffragettes, and edited by Sylvia Pankhurst.  The articles within this volume cover issues including protests about the first world war; “The Fraud of Equal Pay” and, of course, women’s suffrage.

You can learn more about the library and how to visit, here.

Kate Cook.

Centenary of Women Lawyers: Exhibition

Katie Broomfield (pictured below), from Royal Holloway came up to Manchester today to launch her exhibition on the women who struggled to become lawyers, at the Civil Justice Centre in Manchester.  This formed part of our own celebration of the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act (1919) within the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre.  Her Honour Judge Newton opened the talks this lunchtime and we are very grateful to the staff at the Civil Justice Centre for their warm support for this event.


The exhibition will now be in the atrium of the Civil Justice Centre until mid-July, so do pop in, when you are in town, and learn something about the women who struggled for the right to be solicitors and barristers, a century ago.


The meeting today was well attended and Katie spoke about a number of the early women who tried (and failed) to get admitted to the profession, such as Christabel Pankhurst, as well those who, eventually, succeeded.  As you can see from the image above, the exhibit also brings the story of women in the law right up to date, with Baroness Hale.

Katie spoke about Christabel, who was the first women to graduate with a law degree from the Victoria University but who only spoke in court as a litigant in person (see below), as she was never admitted to either of the professions.

Christabel exhibit

Katie is currently working on her PhD in history, developing this work on women lawyers.  Se is also interested in finding other sites for the exhibition, perhaps in other cities around the country, after July.  Get in touch via this blog, if you can help.

Kate Cook.


Sylvia and Sylvio: A Meeting of minds

The exhibition ‘Sylvia and Silvio’ is currently at the Working Class Movement Library, Salford until 23rd May.

“A guest exhibition about Sylvia Pankhurst and her companion, Silvio Corio, illustrating the lifelong activities of this couple in spearheading campaigns centred on social justice, human rights and anti-fascism.

Silvio was an Italian revolutionary who arrived in London in 1900 after fleeing his country having been involved in anarchist and socialist militancy. He was aged 41 at the time of meeting Pankhurst in 1917. She was then 34, and already famous as a leading suffragette, with a passionate interest in anti-colonialism, humanitarian issues and revolutionary politics.

It was a meeting of minds that led to an intense collaboration, battling for justice and human rights.

The exhibition is curated by Alfio Bernabei, based on research for his book about fascism and anti-fascism among Italians in the UK between 1920 and 1940, and his award-winning Channel 4 documentary Dangerous Characters about Italian political refugees in the UK and the sinking of the Arandora Starin which 476 Italian civilian internees died on 2 July 1940.” (https://www.wcml.org.uk/whats-on/events/exhibition-sylvia-and-silvio/)

Entry is free.  Do take this chance to learn more about Sylvia and her politics.

An Invitation from Sapphormation.

Sapphormation this year will be on 2nd Nov 2019 and will be called: “POWER” A festival for women who love women.  This invitation comes from the team at the LGBT Centre, over the road from ManMet.  Do contact them if you can get involved.

We’re putting the planning gears in motion to organise this year’s festival.  We meet every 3rd Monday 4.00-5.30p.m. at The LGBT centre, 49-51 Sidney Street, Manchester, M1 7HB.

Opportunities to come together and share spaces as women who love women are rare. Therefore, the festival is organised out of love for making creative, inspiring, vibrant, inclusive community spaces for ‘women who love women’… so if this describes you, then consider being involved in this year’s Sapphormation journey.

Everyone who defines as women who love women are welcome (*Includes trans women who identify as women who love women.) We expect all women who come along to the space to be respectful of one another.

This year’s theme is “POWER”.

There are three roles to get involved with:

  • Be part of the volunteer planning team;
  • Contribute something to the festival;
  • Festival and/or promotion volunteer – Help out at the festival or with promotion in the lead up to it!

If you’d like to come along to a planning meeting then please send an email to nichola.langton@theproudtrust.org

If you don’t want an active role but would like to know when booking opens please contact nichola.langton@theproudtrust.org

We are looking for a range of women to be involved, e.g., women who are involved in women’s community activities, women who work in universities or do research on lesbian and bisexual women’s identities/ feminism/anti-sexist work, and other people who can bring useful understanding, activities, discussion, skills and experiences to the event.

We are especially interested to welcome women who represent lesser-heard groups,

e.g., working class women, Black and Asian women (and women from other minoritised ethnicities), disabled women, older women etc. Public transport travel expenses can be reimbursed. We will also be able to provide some remuneration for contributions to the festival.

Do you have an idea of something you want to contribute? It could be on the following themes, or something completely different:

  • Power as action;
  • “Voices of Power” stories and poetry, seldom heard or excluded;
  • Non-traditional skills and activities for women;
  • Memories of powerful women, looking at activism;
  • Workshops and performance;
  • Alternative spaces for women who love women.

The Curious Case of Harriet Carson

Manchester Met, Cheshire campus would like to invite you to the following public lecture:
The Curious Case of Harriet Carson
Wed, 3rd April  2019
7:00PM–9:00 PM
Delaney Lecture Theatre, MMU Cheshire Campus, Crewe
Harriet Carson
In 1908 when the Principal of Cheshire County Training College, Mr Delaney,
welcomed the first cohort of students, standing proudly by his side was the
Vice Principal, Miss Harriet Carson. Highly regarded within educational circles,
she was eventually pressured to tender her resignation by that stalwart
of Cheshire Education, Dr William Hodgson.
In November 1915, at Liverpool Assizes, Miss Carson, her professional
reputation on the line, held her head high and stepped into the witness box…
Register your FREE place here.