The women’s liberation movement (WLM) erupted into late 1960s Western society as a powerful force for social change, challenging rigidly defined and oppressive sex role stereotypes, promoting a set of formal demands for women’s equality and introducing terms such as ‘sexism’ and ‘male chauvinist’ into everyday language. There is little doubt that the women’s liberation movement had a profound impact, yet popular images of the original ‘women’s libbers’ portray second wave feminists as men hating, bra burning, dungaree-clad harridans. There is currently renewed interest in feminism, and an upsurge of feminist activity. This has been accompanied by a desire amongst feminist historians to develop the historiography of the WLM. The aim of this one day conference is to historicize the women’s liberation movement within western society between c.1968-1990.
Papers are invited in any area of women’s liberation c1968-90 in Britain, Continental Europe and North America. The organisers are particularly interested in the following themes:
‘The personal is political’: consciousness raising, personal narratives, oral testimony – remembering the WLM;
Sexuality and contraception, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender feminists, sexual violence and ‘reclaim the night’;
Struggles at work: women’s strikes, equal pay, against sex role stereo typing – equal opportunities;
The WLM and media: campaigns against sexist advertising;
Black feminism /women from ethnic minorities/ women of colour in the WLM;
Cultural dimensions of the WLM: feminist art, theatre, writing;
This conference is aimed primarily at historians but will also be of interest to scholars in other disciplines, notably Literature, Cultural Studies, Sociology and Media Studies.
Please send abstracts up to 300 words to Sue Bruley by 4th April 2014.