A hundred years ago, in February 1918, some women won the right to vote in the UK. What role did lesbian and bisexual women play in the fight for suffrage? What contributions did they make to the women’s movement? What problems do we encounter when we try to tell their stories?
It is no longer a secret that a number of women involved in the early twentieth-century women’s movement had sexual and romantic relationships with other women. However, the various and often conflicted ways in which these women responded to, negotiated and shaped suffrage politics – individually and collaboratively – have largely remained obscure.
This talk will focus on Ethel Smyth, Christopher St. John and Radclyffe Hall, three artists and writers who moved in the same social circles and were all, to very different degrees, involved in the campaign for women’s suffrage. Exploring their lives, writings and politics, it seeks to open up debate about the connections between LGBT and feminist histories and politics in the past and present.
Jana Funke is Senior Lecturer in Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter. Her research focuses on modernist literature and culture, the history of sexuality, sexual science and medicine, and feminist studies and queer theory.
Come and hear Jana speak at the LGBT History Day at Bristol’s M Shed Museum. Free entry.
12:30pm to 1:00pm, Saturday 10th February 2018
The Studio Rooms are on the first floor, upstairs from the main entrance. M Shed has wheelchair accessible lifts and accessible toilets.