Feminist & Radical Histories at Newnham: a new student-led project for the 150th Anniversary

As part of the 150th Anniversary Open Programme, two Newnham PhD students have created a remarkable map, exploring some of the feminist and radical histories associated with the College. 

Discover the Feminist & Radical Histories at Newnham project.

Paula Keller and Rosa Campbell drew on Newnham’s archives and library for what they described as “a critical and celebratory history”, highlighting women’s activism at Newnham. Paula is a doctoral candidate in philosophy, exploring the value and possibility of knowing about injustice. Rosa is a doctoral candidate in history, exploring the global history of Australian Women’s Liberation. Together, they were able to address a range of topics in thoughtful, nuanced short articles.

Some histories may be unfamiliar, while others may be well known – indeed, some people may discover that their own student days appear within the project. These stories are planted within a map of Newnham itself, and bring together wonderful photos and quotations from our own archives. Paula and Rosa were inspired by recent public history projects that use interactive mapping software, including the British Library ‘Spare Rib Magazine’ map and History Workshop’s ‘Whose Streets?’ maps.

Topics include the different ways in which feminist activism has manifested itself over the years, including student-produced magazines, the Women’s Settlement Movement,  Working Women’s Summer Schools at Newnham, and the second-wave feminist movement. The individuals discussed include Virginia Woolf, Amy Levy, Akua Asabea Ayisi and Diane Abbott.

Dive into the map, and discover new aspects of Newnham’s history!

The project was supported by many members of College, including Frieda Midgley, Dr. Jean Gooder, Dr. Gill Sutherland, Claire Sawford and Beth Walters. Funding was made available from the Open Programme and the Guild of Friends.