WOMEN’S LEGAL LANDMARKS
CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST
Rosemary Auchmuty and Erika Rackley
2019 marks the centenary of women’s formal admission into the legal profession. This was a key legal landmark for women but, of course, it was not first. Feminists have a long history of engaging with law and law reform with the result that women’s legal history is full of landmarks – key events, cases and statutes – shaping and responding to women’s lives and (diverse) experiences.
To commemorate the centenary of women’s admission into the profession, this project aims to bring together interested feminist scholars to engage in the process of identifying and writing about key legal landmarks for women. These might be one or a series of cases, a statute or campaign, an individual, a monument or event. The landmark must be significant for feminists, even if it only had an impact on a group of women. Indeed, it may not have been positive at the time, yet turned out to be a catalyst for change. The landmark may be well-known or less familiar. We are focusing on legal landmarks in the UK and Ireland and hope to cover a broad range of substantive topics. Our goal is the production of a number of outputs celebrating women’s legal history, reaching both a scholarly and a general audience.
Possible landmarks could include: the Contagious Diseases Acts 1864-6; the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in Victoria Tower Gardens; The Well of Loneliness trial; Williams & Glyn’s Bank v Boland ; S41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act; the appointment of Lady Hale.
Project Outline and Outputs
This is estimated to be a two-year project (2015-2017). We envisage a series of workshops, each of which will consider a number of legal landmarks from a particular period or on related themes. It is anticipated that the participants in the project will, so far as they are able, attend each of the workshops, to be held across the UK and Ireland (we hope to secure funding to support this). The workshops will not only provide an opportunity for the development of materials, but encourage the development of a network of feminist scholars and activists.
The collected landmarks (each essay between 1000-6,000 words) will be published in an edited collection, accompanied by an extract of the relevant primary material, photograph or other source. In addition, there will be a website in the form of an online exhibition with further links to primary sources.
Expressions of Interest
We warmly welcome expressions of interests from academics across all relevant disciplines and at any stage of their academic career as well as from related third sector organisations.
If you would like to participate in the project, please write to
• Erika Rackley (erik...@durham.ac.uk) and
• Rosemary Auchmuty (r.au...@reading.ac.uk),
indicating the legal landmark(s) you would like to consider and why you think they are legal landmarks (max 200 words per landmark).
7 February 2014: Deadline for expressions of interest.
25 March 2014: Initial workshop to discuss content, approach and contributions, along with guidance on doing historical research.
January 2015: Project workshops begin.