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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Sampling Sex Gender and Social Change (the remix)

The revised and expanded 2nd edition of Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain since 1880 is well on schedule to come out late next month.

downloadable pdf of the contents, introduction, and index is available on the Palgrave website.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A couple of things I am doing within the next fortnight

I'm giving a guest lecture ('The sons of Belial: the contaminated/contaminating Victorian male body') at the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Trinity College Dublin next Wednesday, 17 Oct, and I shall be participating in the 'Eat Your Heart Out' event at Barts Pathological Museum with a presentation on 'Sex and the City', or, as I prefer to think of it, 'The STDs of olde London', on the afternoon of Friday 26 Oct.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Some forthcoming conferences

Love, Desire and Melancholy: Inspired by the Writings of Constance Maynard
Centre for the History of the Emotions Symposium
Queen Mary, University of London

Date: 6th November 2012

The Centre for the History of the Emotions and Queen Mary, University of London Archives invite you to a symposium to explore love, desire, melancholy and religion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These themes are inspired by the personal experiences described in the autobiographical writings of Constance Maynard (1849-1935), which were recently digitised.

Constance Maynard was a pioneer in higher education for women. She was also a prolific writer, whose personal writings cover over 40 years of her life and touch on topics such as her role in Westfield College, her devout Christian faith, her close friendships with other women and her attempts to understand her emotions.

Key Note Speakers
Professor Seth Koven, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University, The Match Girl and the Heiress: Christian Revolution and Languages of Love Between Women in the London Slums.

Professor Pauline Phipps, University of Windsor, Constance Maynard’s Atonement: The Passions of an English Educational Pioneer (1849-1935).

Other Speakers

Professor Laura Doan, The University of Manchester, Constance Maynard and the Historiography of Sexuality.

Angharad Eyre, Queen Mary, University of London, PhD candidate, Militant love and friendship: Constance Maynard and the female missionary tradition.

Professor Carol Mavor, The University of Manchester, An open secret, lit by something lightly incestuous: Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs of Paul and Virginia (1864).

Professor Sue Morgan, University of Chichester, Sex and Common-Sense: Maude Royden, Religion and Modern Sexuality.

Helena Whitbread, Author, Anne Lister 1791-1840 ‘I was not born to live alone. I must have the object with me & in loving & being loved I could be happy.’ (Anne Lister - 21st April 1823).
Including, Dr Thomas Dixon, Queen Mary, University of London, Professor Elisabeth Jay, Oxford Brookes University, Professor Amanda Vickery, Queen Mary, University of London.

A reception and exhibition by the Archives on the works of Constance Maynard is concluding the symposium.

Location and Registration
Directions to Queen Mary, University of London, in Arts Two Building, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, can be found here:
To book a place visit For more information email

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Constance Maynard
Constance Maynard’s experience of love, desire, melancholy, and religion are recorded in her personal writings, which are the inspiration for the themes explored in the symposium.

Constance Maynard’s personal writings include her ‘Green Book’ diaries written between 1866 and 1834, in which she describes her ‘inner life’, and an unpublished autobiography, written in her latter years in the style of a reflective diary.

This symposium is a celebration of the digitisation of the ‘Green Book’ diaries and autobiography, published by Queen Mary, University of London Archives in April 2012:

More information about the Archives can be found here:

Gender and Justice in South Asia since 1757

Thursday 12-Friday 13 September 2013
Wolfson College, University of Oxford
Recent popular campaigns in South Asia designed to highlight and root out corruption at both the local and national level show that the subject of `justice´, fairness and equitable treatment, remain a pressing issue. South Asian women´s social, cultural, religious and economic position has also repeatedly been identified since the eighteenth century as an area particularly deserving of attention.  This has led to a thriving women´s movement, as well as problematic colonial notions of `eternally oppressed South Asian women´ that are still used as a symbol to justify a plethora of conservative viewpoints in the West.

This international and multidisciplinary conference will explore the manifold ways in which the ideas of gender and justice have been approached in South Asia and in the South Asian Diaspora since 1757. Its aim is to foster dialogue between scholars from different fields and to provide an historical dimension to contemporary issues and debates around the broad themes of gender, sexuality and justice. Papers which have a transnational and/or
comparative focus between countries in South Asia and elsewhere in the world are particularly welcome.

Keynote Address: Dr Joanna de Groot (University of York)

Provisionally confirmed speakers include:
*Professor Clare Anderson (University of Leicester) *Professor Uma Chakravarti (Miranda House) *Dr Esme Cleall (University of Sheffield)*Dr Stephen Legg (University of Nottingham) *Dr Andrea Major (University of Leeds) *Dr Anshu Malhotra (University of Delhi) *Professor Clare Midgley (Sheffield Hallam University) *Dr Kaveri Qureshi(University of Oxford) *Professor Janaki Nair (Jawaharlal Nehru University) *Professor Shirin Rai (University of Warwick)

It is envisaged that the conference will result in one or more publications.

Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words and a one-page CV to by 31 December 2012. Notification of acceptance will be given before 31 January 2013.

History & Philosophy of Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society
Annual Conference 2013
Monday 25th - Wednesday 27th March, 2013 University of Surrey, Guildford
DSM: The History, Theory, and Politics of Diagnosis
Keynote Speaker: Professor Ian Parker
2013 marks the 40-year anniversary of the vote by the members of the American Psychiatric Association to remove ‘homosexuality’ from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). 2013 is also the publication date of the fifth edition of the DSM.
To mark this anniversary and this event, the History and Philosophy Section have themed the 2013 conference 'DSM: The History, Theory, and Politics of Diagnosis.'
For further information, expressions of interest, etc. please email

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The good news... the bad news

The good news is that the London School of Economics will be giving a home to the Women's Library although this is not necessarily the ideal solution, since it means giving up the purpose-built premises in Whitechapel and its independent existence, and some campaigners feel that the fight to keep it in its present home should continue.

However, it is not good news in any shape or form to learn of the terrible things that are happening to the Ruskin College Oxford archive, as described here by Hilda Kean on the History Workshop blog: Whose Archive? Whose History? destruction of Archives at Ruskin College, Oxford.

A petition to Stop further archive destruction at Ruskin College, Oxford

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

I'd almost forgotten doing this!

Just came across an interview I did some months ago for MyDaily: Sometimes Mr Teddy Has To Watch - Ten Fascinating Things MyDaily Learnt About Sex Toys:
1. Until recently the only sex toy that had a name was the dildo...
Previously there were lots of euphemisms and “devices” and “objects” and “things”. The only one there was a term for was dildo. Which I think reflects the extremely phallocentric assumptions of what sex is about. Obviously we don’t know how they were used – men could have been using them for their own gratification – a spot of prostate massage.
 (I wonder whether this will get as many hits as Sir Henry Wellcome's sexual objects, so far, the most popular post I've made)