Registration and Programme

You now can register for our event on Saturday March 17th from 10am – 4.30pm at 11 Bedford Square; 5-7pm Woburn Room Senate House. Just click here.

The full programme and speaker details are here:


Writing, Women, Suffrage: Bedford Square
Saturday 17 March 10am-4.30pm
 11 Bedford Square and 5-7pm Woburn Room, Senate House



10-11:              Rosemary Ashton (keynote)

‘The Ladies’ College at 47 Bedford Square: Where it all Began’

Prof. Ashton’s keynote will examine the network of people involved in the founding of Bedford College and explore the wider context of activism and education in Bloomsbury during the nineteenth century.

11-11.30:         Coffee; Student Projects and Banner Viewing.


11.30-12.30:  David Herd and Drew Milne

David Herd – The Campaign for Women’s Suffrage and the Campaign to End Indefinite Immigration Detention: Some Points of Intersection’

This paper will consider some points of intersection between the historic campaign for Women’s Suffrage and the contemporary campaign to end indefinite immigration detention. It will address the systems and processes by which the state seeks to effect the exclusion of certain groups and individuals. It will also draw on another anniversary, the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to consider the degree to which the concept of ‘recognition’ can be useful in creating the possibility for a change of law. It will consider, in conclusion, how far poetics can contribute to forms of practice whose objectives are principally political and legal.

Drew Milne – ‘Women’s Suffrage and the Biotariat’

This paper develops the concept of the biotariat proposed by Stephen Collis in ‘Notes towards a Manifesto of the Biotariat’ (2017). This paper explores how the biotariat offers a way of reconsidering how struggles for women’s suffrage mobilised conflicting conceptions of species-being. Contemporaneous with the emergence of what became known as the proletariat, suffragists and suffragettes fought for recognition of women as full political subjects and agents. To what extent did this struggle also reshape the politics of non-human and biological representation? Exploring the representation of cats in campaign materials for and against women’s suffrage, the paper also asks what it would mean to extend women‘s suffrage to a politics of the Biotariat.


12.30-1.30:      Lunch; Banner Making; Student projects on view

1.30-2.30:       Georgina Colby and Sarah Hayden

Georgina Colby: ‘Kathy Acker and New Forms of Suffragism’: What might suffragism mean today? How can the term be actively reclaimed in light of contemporary feminist political issues and literary/feminist experiment?

Sarah Hayden – ‘Sugar of fictitious values’. A Loy-al lecture-poem.


2.30-3.30:        Andrea Brady (Poem)

                            Nisha Ramayya (Poem)

                           Redell Olsen (Film – ‘Now Circa 1918’)


3.30-4.30:        Tea; Banner Making; Procession


5.00:                Arrive Woburn Room, Senate House: Drinks


5:30                 Isabel Waidner

A reading and contextual framing of two formally innovative novels, Gaudy Bauble (2017) and They Are Made of Diamond Stuff (work in progress) by Isabel Waidner. Gaudy Bauble stages a glittering world populated by GoldSeXUal StatuEttes, anti-drag kings, Gilbert-&-George-like lesbians, maverick detectives and a transgender army equipped with question-mark-shaped helmets. It stages what happens when the disenfranchised are calling the shots. They Are Made of Diamond Stuff follows two diamond queers trying to navigate their own working-class milieu in post-EU-referendum Britain. Both novels are imagining versions of contemporary intersectional feminisms, asking what radical feminist activism might look like in Tory Britain.

                        Deborah Levy (keynote)

‘Deborah Levy will be reading from her soon to be released new book, The Cost of Living (Hamish Hamilton, 2018): a working autobiography about the search for a freer life and what it costs a woman to pursue.
“Freedom is never free. Anyone who has struggled to be free knows how much it costs.”


7.00:                Close and thanks.










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