Language, Gender and Politics
Nancy Astor [Image credit: John Singer Sargent [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]
  • Lecture Theatre 2, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University

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This half day event is the first in an AHRC funded project to commemorate the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, entitled 'What Difference did the War make? Women, Suffrage, Politics and the First World War'.

Working with partners at the University of Lincoln and the Parliament's Vote 100 project, the University of Plymouth will host two public lectures and a round table discussion aimed at provoking new debates about women and parliamentary politics a century after the first women voters. 

Language, Gender and Politics will be held at the University, close to the Sutton constituency of Nancy Astor, the first woman to take up a seat in the House of Commons. 

There will be two keynote lectures:

1) Dr Jacqui Turner (University of Reading): 'An unconventional MP' The highs and lows of Nancy Astor's first decade in Parliament, 1919-29

The paper will explore the challenges and opportunities encountered by Nancy Astor during her first decade in parliament. Her election facilitated the emergence of the first public female politicians to take the national stage. More broadly, we will consider interwar gender attitudes, gendered language, responses to Astor and how she constructed a political identity and deployed her femininity in the House.

2) Professor Angela K Smith (University of Plymouth): The Relationship Between the First World War and the Campaign for Women’s suffrage

These keynotes will be followed by a round table discussion on the topic of ‘language, Gender and Politics: then and now’, taking the life and legacy of Nancy Astor as a starting point. 

Panellists will include Linda Gilroy (Labour), Caroline Voaden (Lib Dem), Luke Pollard (Labour), Sarah-jane Sewell (Conservative), Jacqui Turner and Babs Horton (novelist). 

The discussion will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience. 

This free event is open to all but advance registration is required via the above link as space is limited.

An exhibition of Lady Nancy Astor will be on display in Crosspoint, Ground Floor, Roland Levinsky Building from 30 September - 9 October 2017.

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