VUW Public Lecture: ‘This isn’t very feminist at all….’ Talking about feminism with post-war British women


Friday 7 April 5:30pm—6:30pm
Rutherford House Lecture Theatre 3 (RHLT3)
For further information please contact the History Programme Seminar Convenor:
Valerie Wallace, valerie.wallace at

In interviews with British women who reached maturity in the post war decades, introducing feminism into the conversation has produced some puzzling contradictions. These women narrated life histories that had been shaped by the language and values of the feminist generation and yet many expressed unease when confronted with their own lack of active engagement with the women’s movement or with feminism as a set of beliefs. Drawing upon a series of interviews with women of the ‘transition generation’ (those born in the 1940s) this lecture will reflect on some of the assumptions of feminist oral history and consider how we might talk about feminism in a way that opens up rather than closes down the conversation.
Lynn Abrams is Professor of Modern History and Head of the School of Humanities at the University of Glasgow. She is the author of The Making of Modern Woman: Europe 1789-1918 (2002), Myth and Materiality in a Woman’s World: Shetland 1800-2000 (2005), Oral History Theory (2016) and articles on subjects ranging from highland mascu-linity to knitting and identity in the Shetland islands, storytelling and modern barter. Lynn has been the Convenor of Women’s History Scotland and co-editor of Gender and History.