Women in English series launching on 3 March with live-streamed talk

montage of books written by members of English faculty

The English Faculty is delighted to announce the launch of a Women in English series of talks.

At the heart of our vision for the Women in English talks is a desire to foster support and insight for women at all stages of the academic pipeline—from the undergraduate level through ECRs and permanent postholders.

The series will be launched on 3 March 2021 with a live-streamed talk by Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge, Professor of Humanities and Human Rights at University of Birmingham and author of Writing and Righting: Literature in the Age of Human Rights (2020). Professor Stonebridge’s talk, Societies of Outsiders and Departments of English Literature, will be chaired and introduced by the Chair of English Faculty Board, Professor Ros Ballaster. A recording of the talk will be available after the event. 

In this talk, Lyndsey Stonebridge will reflect on the tensions between the ways in which we think and experiment with writing and the borders and boundaries of literature. Can a ‘society of outsiders’ as Virginia Woolf once referred to women readers, thinkers, and activists, re-define the boundaries or are the traditions and institutions of literature still limiting what we can do and think? 

Following the live-streamed event, we will be releasing a series of short films featuring conversations between women in English at Oxford that will form the basis of a growing set of resources. Each conversation will be approximately ten minutes and will provide invaluable insight into many topics, ranging from moving from the PGR level to the ECR experience and what it is like to enter an academic track in midlife. These short films will be available for staff and students at the University of Oxford.

In 2020, the Faculty of English applied for, and was awarded, an Athena Swan Bronze award, which recognizes good practice in promoting gender equality in higher education. All Women in English events are aimed at articulating the stress points and key challenges for women in English studies. All events are also shaped by the desire to honour the scholars who have shaped our history in the past and to inspire today’s academics to continue shaping our future.