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Changing perceptions of ‘Essex girls’

  • Date

    Fri 1 Mar 19

A mother and child in a maternity ward. Acrylic painting, 1962. Courtesy of the Wellcome Collection

Essex historians will be celebrating inspiring women from the county of Essex at a free event next week marking International Women’s Day.

Researchers from the University’s Department of History will co-host the Snapping the Stiletto: Essex Women’s History Festival, with Essex Museums, on 9 March. The event takes place at 10am to 4.30pm, at Essex Business School on the University’s Colchester Campus.

The packed programme will tell the stories of local women from the last 100 years through talks, craftivism activities, film screenings and exhibitions. Themes covered with include women’s suffrage, professional identity and physical appearance, women in work, and women’s health.

Dr Tracey Loughran
"Understanding women's experiences of health and well-being in the past help us to understand how we can support girls and women to be strong, self-confident and resilient today."
Professor Tracey Loughran Deputy Dean (Research) (humanities)

Speakers include Professor Pam Cox, presenter of Channel 5’s Edwardian Britain in Colour, who will talk about the invention of ‘Essex girls.’ Professor Katharine Cockin will talk about Gertrude Colmore, author of Suffragette Sally, and Sarah Demelo, Curator of the University of Essex Collection of Art from Latin America, will explore the archive of Essex-novelist Margery Allingham.

Craftivism activities will cover themes such as body image and period poverty. There will be screenings of films from Essex Record Office and opportunities to make donations to charities Red Box Colchester and Beauty Banks.

Professor Tracey Loughran, Deputy Dean (Research) in the University’s Faculty of Humanities said: “Understanding women’s experiences of health and well-being in the past help us to understand how we can support girls and women to be strong, self-confident and resilient today - to learn from the experiences of generations of women who have gone before them.”

Picture courtesy of the Wellcome Collection. A mother and child in a maternity ward. Acrylic painting, 1962.