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Women’s Studies Without Walls at the GEA Conference
Women’s Studies Without Walls: Back to the Roots
Thursday 25th April 2013, 7:30pm
Feminist Library, 5 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7XW
The first of our Spring/Summer WSWW events will be taking place on 25th April 2013: a symposium as part of the Gender and Education Association’s Biennial Conference 2013. Please see below for more information.
*Photo’s of this event available here.
Women’s Studies Without Walls (WSWW) is an initiative born out of the Feminist Library in Autumn 2012. It was launched with a weekend of varied workshops, talks and skill-shares held at the Feminist Library in January 2013, on the theme of ‘The Personal is Political’. A diverse range of women attended and took part in discussions – women from all generations, from within academia and without, and from all round the country. The WSWW weekend is being followed up with a regular series of WSWW events at the Feminist Library, and we encourage sister events that are beginning to be organised elsewhere.
The impetus for WSWW was a concern that much of what is now taught in universities as Gender Studies has lost touch with grassroots feminist activism, coupled with a fear that the neo-liberal and cuts agenda across education will remove any possibility of radical education at any stage of learning. WSWW aims to return Women’s Studies to its rightful place, encouraging women to take radical feminist action through learning and sharing skills, experience and knowledge.
WSWW is looking forward to hosting the symposium entitled ‘Women’s Studies Without Walls: Back to the Roots’, which will take place at the Feminist Library during the Gender and Education Association Biennial Conference 2013. After a panel of speakers with a range of life experiences: Sarbjit Johal, Ann Rossiter, Ruth Nicholson and Aura Lounasmaa, have briefly addressed issues including accessibility, consciousness-raising, reaching beyond established institutions, and the relationship between activism and academia, we invite everyone to join in a general discussion.
The Feminist Library will be offering tours of the library from 2pm on Thursday 25th April, which will include an exhibition of paintings by Sarbjit Johal, one of our speakers for the symposium. Conference delegates are also welcome to visit the library during normal opening hours. Please visit www.feministlibrary.co.uk, email email@example.com or call 020 7261 0879 for more information. The Feminist Library is a short walk from the Keyworth Centre, where the main Gender and Education Association Conference is taking place:
Women’s Studies Without Walls: Moving Forwards!
Join us this Spring/Summer for a series of workshops, discussions and skill-shares on the theme of ‘The Personal is Political’. All sessions will last approximately two hours and will take place at the Feminist Library, which is fully wheelchair accessible.
Thursday 25th April 7:30pm
Women’s Studies Without Walls: Back to the Roots (Symposium for the Gender & Education Association Conference 2013. Everybody welcome.)
Panel of speakers, Sarbjit Johal, Anne Rossiter, Ruth Nicholson and Aura Lounasmaa, talking about accessibility, consciousness-raising, reaching beyond established institutions, and the relationship between activism and academia. Followed by a general discussion; with art exhibition by Sarbjit Johal. (Tours of the Feminist Library from 2 p.m.)
Thursday 2nd May 7pm
An introduction to Feminist Consciousness-Raising: Gail Chester and Aura Lounasmaa
A practical session on consciousness-raising (CR). Through doing it, we will tackle such questions as: What is a CR group? How do you set one up? Is CR a useful organising tool in today’s world as it was in the 1970s and 80s? WSWW hopes to set up a register of women looking for local groups and putting them in touch with each other.
Sunday 19th May 3pm-6pm
London Irish Women’s Network hosts an afternoon focussed on the Magdalene Laundries
The keynote speaker is Mary Lodato, who is writing a PhD on her personal journey of survival, redress and recovery, charting the childhood experience of institutional abuse in an Industrial School which had a Magdalene Laundry attached to it. Some of Mary’s artwork will be on display and Survivor poet, Emer O’Keefe, will read poetry.
Thursday 30th May 7pm
Women and Disability: Clare Cochrane
Disabled & non-disabled feminists exploring personal & political responses to disability in a supportive atmosphere. We’ll explore questions such as: What does ‘disabled’ mean? How do feminism and disability interact? How can experiences of disability transform society? This will be a workshop, not a lecture – so come ready to share your thoughts and learn together.
Thursday 13th June 7pm
Women Taking Direct Action: Angie Zelter
As a founding member of Action Atomic Weapon Eradication, Angie will talk about the need for more women’s action to eradicate atomic weapons in the world, followed by a discussion on direct action more generally.
Thursday 27th June 7pm
Stuff Your Sexist Boss!: South London Solidarity Federation
London SolFed is producing a pamphlet about practical methods of resisting sexual harassment in the workplace. So come along, share experiences, and exchange ideas on tactics for working collectively against workplace harassment and discrimination.
Sunday 7th July 3pm – 6pm
London Irish Women’s Network hosts an afternoon on the Making and Breaking of Images of Irish Women
Who do we carry around in our heads? We will be going on a journey around what we’ve absorbed, what we’ve made or left unmade, and whether we should be doing anything about it. A participative event.
*A reportback from this event is available here.
Thursday 11th July 7pm
Feminist Film Showing and Discussion (Film TBC)
Thursday 18th July 7pm
Review, Planning and Party
Review of activities so far, and all your ideas for our autumn series, followed by food, drink and music.
Please let us know if you intend to come; contact us for more info:
Phone 020 7261 0879; Twitter @feministlibrary #WSWW
Suggested donation on entry: £3-8 per session
All self-defining women welcome. See you there, sisters.
Feminist Library, 5 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7XW
Women’s Studies Without Walls
Women’s Studies Without Walls (WSWW) is an initiative launched by The Feminist Library in Autumn 2012. In a very short time it has drawn in a cross-section of feminists of all generations from within academia and without, and from all round the country – we are already in touch with women from Cardiff, Swansea, Shrewsbury, the East Midlands, Leeds, and Oxford.
The impetus for WSWW was a concern that much of what is now taught in universities as Gender Studies has lost touch with grassroots feminist activism, coupled with a fear that the neo-liberal and cuts agenda across education will remove any possibility of radical education at any stage of learning. WSWW plans to return Women’s Studies to its rightful place – informing and encouraging women to take radical feminist action through learning and sharing skills, experience, and information.
We are launching WSWW with a weekend of assorted workshops, talks, and skill-sharing at the Feminist Library on 19-20th January 2013, the theme of which will be ‘The Personal is Political’. This will be followed by a weekly series of WSWW evening events at the Feminist Library, and, we hope, by sister events elsewhere. We are very open to all your input, and we want to broaden out to include a wide range of contacts, and indeed, geographical areas – we are, after all, without walls.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, any input or suggestions you may have, and for dates of upcoming WSWW organising meetings.
Podcasts made by Yula Burin and women at the inaugural Women’s Studies Without Walls event are available to listen via Camden Community Radio: On Consciousness Raising, How the event felt, On making women’s studies inclusive, On connecting theory, feelings and political response, On the history and value of Women’s Studies to activists, Personal choices are constrained by politics, Reflections on the Personal is Political.
Women’s Studies Without Walls Programme
Women’s Studies Without Walls: Weekend gathering on the theme ‘The Personal is Political’– 19th and 20th January 2013, Feminist Library.
Saturday 19th January
Room 2 Room 3 Periodicals Room Room 4 Room 1 11am – 1pm Plenary: Feminist Library + other groups. Open discussion, why we are here, the Cuts etc 1pm – 2pm Lunch 2pm – 3.30pm Feeling feminist — an old-fashioned consciousness-raising workshop – Rob and Jane Recording Women: Part 1 – Yula Abortion politics and Ireland – Anne and Marian Women taking part: an empowering learning programme — Sue and Jill 3.30pm – 4pm Tea Break 4pm – 5.30pm Feminism, identity and difference – Terese and Aura Feminism, Photography, History – Patrizia Creating a Zine – Scarlett Feminist Sex and Relationships Education -Feminist Fightback
Stuff Your Sexist Boss! –
South London Solidarity Federation
6pm onwards Social event: food, feminist open mic, film shows
Sunday 20th January
Room 2 Room 3 Periodicals Room Room 4 Room 1 11am – 1pm A practical introduction to consciousness-raisingGail and Ruth
Part 2 – Yula
Writing Feminist Flash Fiction – Zoë
Feminist Reflections on Developing Women’s Studies – Miriam
Women’s Self Defence – Carolyn 1pm – 2pm Lunch 2pm – 3.30pm WSWW – Future Planning, including spreading to other places. General FeedbackMeeting room 3.30/4pm onwards Playback from Recording Women sessions, informal networking: food, film, fun.
PDF of programme here
Feeling Feminist: an old fashioned consciousness raising workshop
Roberta and Jane
Feeling feminist: an old fashioned feminist consciousness raising workshop exploring what it means to be feminist by reflecting on our own experiences, hopes and dreams, hardships and real world realities.
Recording Women: Part 1
An exploration into the historical importance of women’s stories in feminist activism, and how audio recordings are an important means of conveying those stories. Participants will learn how to operate recorders and prepare questions for interviewees, to be completed during the course of the weekend.
Abortion Politics and Ireland
Ann and Marian
This brainstorming workshop aims to confound the image of Irish abortion seekers who cross the Irish Sea in droves as silent victims of draconian anti-abortion laws in both Irish states.
Women and Transformational Leadership
Sue and Jill
In this workshop we would like to share our experience of developing and delivering learning programmes that support and encourage women to be active, critical and challenging citizens.
Feminism, Identity and Difference
Gender, ethnicity, class, dis/ability, age, sexuality, religion: different parts of our identities influence how we experience the world, including the ways in which we are oppressed and privileged. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how understanding our different backgrounds and experiences is crucial, and share strategies for anti-oppressive feminist organising.
Feminism, Photography and History
In this workshop we are going to discuss the late photographer Jo Spence’s collaborative work to raise the issue of how it might be possible to celebrate the achievements of women artists without creating canonical figures that subscribe to notion of the artist as a special, privileged, unique individual.
Creating a Zine
Feminist Sex and Relationships Education
As a society we have problems discussing, and having, sex and relationships in empowering ways. As we are all potential learners and teachers of SRE we need to find ways to change attitudes. A workshop to explore ways and means to do that!
Stuff Your Sexist Boss!
South London Solidarity Federation
Part of the London Solidarity Federation’s ongoing project to produce a new pamphlet about practical methods of resisting sexual harassment in the workplace. Come along, share your own experiences if you wish, and exchange ideas on tactics for working collectively against workplace harassment and discrimination.
A practical introduction to consciousness-raising
Gail and Ruth
Recording Women: Part 2
Following on from Saturday’s session. In this workshop we will engage in the challenge that is editing in order to create a prepared piece from the previous day’s recordings for a broadcast at the end of the day.
Writing Feminist Flash Fiction
Flash fiction is fiction you can read in a flash. Fiction that makes you blink – and think. Writing Feminist Flash Fiction with Zoë Fairbairns is open to a maximum of 10 participants. Please bring your own writing materials.
Feminist Reflections on Developing Women’s Studies
What are the contributions of feminism to the development of pedagogies in and outside universities? Miriam will offer insights from her book: Passion, Pedagogies and Politics: Feminism, Gender & Universities (Routledge 2013) about this creative endeavour.
Women’s Self Defence
A look at how and why feminists organise women’s self defence classes, and the revolutionary potential of doing so. A chance to experience a short “radical practical feminist self defence” class, and learn/ practice/ share some basic strategies -verbal and physical techniques- that we can use to defend ourselves, assert our boundaries, and confront problem behaviour. All women, ages and abilities welcome; we can adapt what we do to suit your body. Any questions? Please email us: feministselfdefence @ yahoo.co.uk.