Writing Women and Suffrage

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


A day of lectures, readings, and activities dedicated to the history and present of women, writing and the suffrage movement.

90 participants signed up for the one-day free event in Bedford Square on March 17th: ‘Women, Writing, Suffrage: Bedford Square’.

Our two keynotes, Prof Rosemary Ashton and the multiple Booker shortlisted novelist, Deborah Levy, bookended a day of talks and readings about the urgency and meaning of suffrage now. Subjects included innovative and talks about Yarls Wood and asylum seekers (David Herd, Kent); the Repeal the 8th campaign in Ireland (Sarah Hayden, Southampton) and a range of papers addressing subjectivity, suffrage, rights and the arts now. Redell Olsen presented a film (29 mins) - 'Now Circa (1918)' which linked protests by women in 1918 to the 2018 protests by women. At 4.30 pm around 30 participants walked around Bedford Square (in the snow) with our banners and placards in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of activists who campaigned in the suffrage movement.

Part of the Runnymede Literary Festival 2019 and #vote100atRH

A collaboration between the Royal Holloway Poetics Research Centre and Royal Holloway Centre for Victorian Studies.

Curated by Ruth Livesey [email protected] and Redell Olsen [email protected]

Student Research Associates:
Ms Natalie Reeve and Ms Rachel Jones.

Blog: https://womensuffragewritingbedfordsquare.wordpress.com
Research blog posts from student research associates, PIs and conference participants, addressing our key research/practice questions, discussing archival research at Royal Holloway, publishing extracts of Natalie Reeve’s novella, banner making, and documenting the events of our day conference.

Replica banners. The two full-size banners (one for Bedford College, one for George Eliot) are documented on the project blog along with the research process that underpinned them.
Period17 Mar 2018
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • suffrage
  • vote 100
  • women
  • Bedford College
  • Bloomsbury
  • women writers
  • suffragettes