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Forthcoming Events

‘Activist Legacies’ Roundtable event, 4.00-6.00pm, 22 September 2022, The Women’s Library, LSE, featuring Marsha Rowe (Spare Rib), Shaila Shah (Outwrite), Sally Orson-Jones (Shocking Pink) and Kemi Alemoru (gal-dem). 


Past Events Organised by the Gendered Subjects Research Group

‘Reproductive Rights in The Handmaid’s Tale’, 10 May 2022, talk for Sunderland College students at Northumbria University.  

‘Women’s Movement Magazines: Contexts and Content for The Handmaid’s Tale’, 4 April 2022, talk at Gateshead College. 

Sex Education Zine Café

In November 2020, as part of the Being Human festival, this event offered an opportunity for our researchers to come together with groups who have been underrepresented in the building and delivery of sex education, notably those who identify as being part of the disabled, queer, trans and women’s communities. Discussions focused on the past, present, and future of learning and how we can keep supporting a more inclusive education.  

Serial [Gendered] Subjects: Periodicals, Identities, Communities, September 20, 2019

A one-day symposium at Northumbria, jointly hosted with the Network of American Periodi) cal Studies and supported by the Institute of Humanities. The plenary lecture was given by Professor Mary Chapman (University of British Columbia), Slave Girls and Underground Railways in the Periodical Publications and Biography of Edith Eaton (Sui Sin Far). Further details, including the full programme, are available here

Feminist Activism, 1968-2019, May 1, 2018

While some current women’s activism receives considerable attention (e.g. the 2018 centenary of suffrage for some women, #Timesup, and #MeToo) other forms are comparatively neglected (e.g. Black and Minority Ethnic women’s campaigns against oppressive migration policies). The history of women’s activism has also been overlooked or misrepresented by the media and academia. This symposium examined how feminist activism has been represented and remembered, and how that activism continues to inform political movements in the 21st century. The full programme is available here.

Festival of Feminist Ideas and Action, 2015

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2015, members of the Gendered Subjects Research Group, as part of Northumbria University’s Gender & Society Research Hub hosted a series of ‘feminist conversations’.  These conversations focused on women’s experiences and lives, including their roles as politicians, activists, community workers, writers, directors, actors and academics.  Each conversation focused on a particular theme and drew in women working in a variety of professional areas and contexts. The themes included women’s safety and freedom and how local organisations support women, the history of women’s activist contribution and the contemporary campaigns in which women are currently engaged, how feminist politics are translated into creative acts of theatre and performance and how women politicians fare in a variety of national contexts.

The events, held at the welcoming Newcastle City Library, were very well attended by diverse audiences, from school students to retired people, showing the broad appeal of feminism. Invited speakers generated some fascinating insights and lively conversations. When asked for feedback about the events, audience members said they enjoyed hearing from ‘really interesting and fantastic speakers’, ‘listening to some fascinating women’, and ‘listening to ordinary women who've done extraordinary things’.

Feminist issues are core to the work of the Gendered Subjects group at Northumbria. Whether working in collaboration with scholars from other disciplines as part of the Gender and Society Research hub, or within the English discipline, the Gendered Subjects group are helping to build feminism as a theory, a politics and a praxis.

The videos of the event are located via the links below.

Woman Politics and Power
Creative Feminist Action
Woman, History and Social Change
Woman’s Activism Today
Woman’s Safety and Freedom



Fabulous Femininities (2020–2023) 

Fabulous Femininities is a three-year research project seeking to understand the way that fabulousness and femininity are performed by burlesque club-goers via specific DIY approaches to costume. The immersive and ethnographic study will focus on a range of club events and the experiences and practices of participants (performers, club-goers, costumiers etc) in order to document, understand and theorise the transformative threshold between the everyday self and the extravagant spectacle.   

The project is led by University of Leeds in partnership with Northumbria University, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).  For further details please see the project website: 

A key output is the development of the digital archive -  

Publication plans include an edited collection edited by the PI, Jacki Willson, and a journal article on burlesque and gothic by Claire Nally.  

Liberating Histories: Women’s Movement Magazines, Media Activism and Periodical Pedagogies (2022–2024)

Liberating Histories: Women’s Movement Magazines, Media Activism and Periodical Pedagogies is an AHRC-funded project based at Northumbria University, which tells the stories of the Women’s Liberation Movement through UK feminist magazines.  

The project is led by Dr Victoria Bazin (Principal Investigator), Dr Melanie Waters (Co-Investigator), Professor Kaitlynn Mendes (Co-Investigator) and Dr Eleanor Careless (Postdoctoral Research Assistant), and partnered with LSE Women’s Library.  

This is the first comprehensive study of feminist print activism in the UK from the beginnings of the Women’s Liberation Movement in 1968 to the present day. It explores the links between print and digital activism and it develops new pedagogic approaches that use women’s movement magazines as teaching resources in the classroom.  

The project also aims to generate a new archive of readers’ testimonies, providing a unique insight into the role magazines played in mediating the political ideas and feelings that mobilised movements, communities and campaigns. 


Selected Publications 

Victoria Bazin (2021) ‘Red Rag Magazine, Feminist Economics and the Domestic Labour Pains of Liberation’, Women: A Cultural Review, pp. 295–317.  

Claire Nally, ‘The “Style terrorism” of Siouxsie Sioux: Femininity, early Goth aesthetics and BDSM fashion’, in Let’s Spend the Night Together: Sex, Pop Music and British Youth Culture, 1950s–80s, ed. Subcultures Network (Manchester: MUP, 2022) 

Mel Waters (2021) ‘Risky Ms-ness? The Business of Women’s Liberation Periodicals in the 1970s’, Women: A Cultural Review, pp. 273–294.  

Mel Waters (2022) ‘What’s the Time, Anna Wulf?  Crisis Temporality and Feminist Untimeliness in Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook’, Modern Fiction Studies (forthcoming). 

Rosie White (2021) ‘Making fun of feminism: British television comedy and the second wave’, Feminist Media Studies.  


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