International Women’s Day Symposium: Announcing Panel 1 – “Retrieving Women from the Archive”

On the 8th March 2021 at 11.30, join us for a discussion about retrieving women from the archives: voices that have been lost or forgotten through the passing of time and are being rediscovered through exploration and research

When asked about the vision of “Retrieving Women from the Archive,” Natalia Fantetti (Academic Events Officer of SASiety and organiser of “International Women’s Day Symposium”) replied: “This panel was probably the one that was most directly linked to my own research, which has to do with women’s contributions to the medieval manuscript trade. As these women aren’t often written about in standard texts, you have to become a bit of a “detective-scholar” and set about digging into the archives. Unfortunately, this is the case for a lot of women’s work in all kinds of areas and time period, and so I thought it would be a good idea to dedicate a panel specifically to this retrieval process, and to the idea of ‘archives’ a encompassing both the literal thing and the notion of hidden histories.”

This panel is particularly important for the time period it focuses on. As Natalia explained, all the panellists “work in the first half of the twentieth century, which is a time of social change and cultural upheaval. Women were making real strides in this period, and I think all of our panellists have something interesting to say both about figures that we are more familiar with, and those that we are not.” 

Finally, we asked Natalia who she would like to retrieve from the archives or shed some light on. “Probably too many people to count!” Natalia responded. “Aside from the women like Belle da Costa Greene and Anne Nill that I am looking at for my research, I think it would be great to learn more about some of the early activists like Jane Addams and Harriet Tubman. In the fight for gender and racial equality, we build upon the foundations that they laid down for us, and it is only right that we fully flesh out their histories.”

Without further ado, for our first panel, we are delighted to welcome: 

Dr. Godela Weiss-Sussex (Institute of Modern Language Research, School of Advanced Study) who works on the culture and literature of 20th and 21st century, particularly focusing on women’s writing, the works of German-Jewish writers produced in Germany and in exile; modernism, the city in literature and the visual arts; biology and literature. Her main current research project focus is on: German-Jewish women’s writing in the 20th and 21st centuries as ‘minor literature’; metropolitan consumer culture and the literary imagination; translingual writing. 

Professor Sarah Churchwell (Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study) researches topics relating to American literature, culture, and history across the long 20th century. Her research topics include a rhetorical history of the phrases “American Dream” and America First,” histories and readings of The Great Gatsby, American language in the 1920s and 1930s, classical Hollywood cinema, and iconic American figures including Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, Henry James, and Margaret Mitchell. 

Francesca Wade has written for publications including the London Review of BooksTimes Literary Supplement, Financial Times, Paris Review, the Guardian, New Statesman, Frieze and Prospect. She is outgoing editor of the White Review and a recipient of a Robert B Silvers Grant for Work in Progress and a 2020–21 Fellowship at the Leon Levy Center for Biography. Her first book, Square Haunting, was a Sunday Times Literary Non-Fiction Book of the Year, a Guardian Best Book of the Year (As Chosen by Authors), and was longlisted for the Baille Gifford Prize.

Make sure to book your tickets here!


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