Experts and selection

Books - photocredits: Sharon McCutcheon

Anna Davin
Field of expertise: History
Short bio: Anna Davin is a feminist historian and campaigner. She was closely involved in the History Workshop movement during the 1970s. She was a founding member of the editorial collective of History Workshop Journal, in 1976, and was to continue as an active editor for over thirty years. She has also been active in many feminist organisations and community history projects. She has also written extensively and taught at universities and in adult education centres in the UK and USA.

Avril Rolph
Field of expertise: Specific research into WLM as it existed in South Wales (1970s-80s). Personally active in feminist and lesbian feminist groups, 1970s onwards.
Short bio: Avril Rolph is a feminist historian and campaigner who has been and continues to be Personally active in feminist and lesbian feminist groups, 1970s onwards . She has written extensively about the history and culture of feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement from the 1970s onwards and 80s, with particular emphasis on the movement in Wales/South Wales during the 70s and 80s. She is also a member of the Women’s Archive of Wales and is a qualified librarian. She was also involved in the ‘ Lesbians in Libraries’ organisation which was established as a campaigning and support group ‘for lesbians who work in and use libraries ‘.

Heidi Safia Mirza
Field of expertise: Black and Postcolonial Feminism
Short bio: Heidi Safia Mirza is Professor of Equalities Studies In Education and Director of the Centre for Equalities, Rights and Social Justice (CRESJ) at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK. She is known internationally for her research on ethnicity, gender and identity and uses postcolonial and black feminist theoretical frameworks to investigate social exclusion, human rights and equality issues for Black and minority ethnic women. Her recent work explores current debates on multiculturalism, citizenship, Islamophobia and gendered violence.

Mary Kennedy
Field of expertise: Women’s Studies; Social History
Short bio: Mary Kennedy is a retired Senior Lecturer in Women’s Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London, 1980-1993. She has written numerous papers relating to women in education and aspects of modern history. She has also carried out research into family histories, particularly in France.

Red Chidgey
Field of expertise: Feminist Publishing, Third Wave Feminism, Cultural Activism
Short bio: Red is a DIY feminist activist and historian. Her interests > include third wave feminism, zines, feminist media, histories of the > British Women’s Liberation Movement, feminist archives, and women and > queer cultural production. She is currently undertaking a PhD in > feminist cultural memory at London South Bank University.


Report on the selection process by the British FRAGEN team

The final selection process was a matter of choosing texts which had ideally received multiple votes from the panel of experts. This was the case with five texts of the final selection; the only text which was received fewer than two votes was ‘Once a Feminist’ by Michelene Wandor.

The team asked for permissions from authors and publishers of the most popular books (ie those with the highest number of votes) in the longlist. Some responded positively but they did not provide further information/get back to us with signed permission slips and so the team had to leave them out due to not being able to satisfactorily complete the permissions process.

This was most frustrating in the case of ‘The Body Politic’ and ‘Sisters Against Disablement’ as both editors and the publishers agreed to the digitisation of the items, but in both cases the materials had multiple authors – all of whom retained the copyright and most of whom the team was unable to locate to ask for permission.

Due to the listed difficulties in the process of getting permissions, it was decided to have a back up list of publications that were not chosen by multiple experts but that the team felt we could more likely (and crucially, *more quickly*) get permission to use. ie books with single authors and with clear publishers.

These were ‘Just Like a Girl’: How Girls Learn to be Women by Sue Sharpe, ‘Once a feminist: stories of a generation’ by Michelene Wandor and ‘Patriarchal Attitudes : women in society’ by Eva Figes. The team managed to get permissions from both Sue Sharpe and Michelene Wandor to digitise their books but did not hear from Eva. Alas the team did not hear from Penguin publishing regarding Sue’s book so they have a digitised copy, but the team has not placed it on the database and have not placed it online.