Below you can find details of launch events and talks at which I’ll discuss my research on working-class life and the importance of working-class people’s own voices for the history of the last century. Joining me at these events are some fantastic speakers and writers interested in class and inequality, including Melissa Benn, Lynsey Hanley and Kate Pickett
I am delighted and honoured to be speaking at A Woman’s Place is Back in Town in London on 20 May. Venue TBC, but details and booking are here. Book soon to avoid disappointment. A Woman’s Place is a terrific organisation fighting for women’s rights. I share their conviction that sex and gender are different entities. I am extremely concerned by the idea that people can ‘feel’ as if they are a woman and therefore ‘identify’ as such, which is used to justify allowing natal born men access to women-only spaces such as changing rooms, toilets and refuges. As a historian, I also refute the idea that being a woman is a feeling. It is not a feeling innate to some people and denied to others. Being a woman is a lived experience. Natal women face particular oppressions because of our actual and potential role as mother. It is that experience that I write about, not least my forthcoming biography of Shelagh Delaney. I would not have been able to write that book about a working-class woman playwright, let alone find a publisher for it, without generations of feminists struggling to ensure that women’s experiences are taken seriously. Of course we’re very far from winning that fight, and I’m therefore very appreciative of the excellent work that A Woman’s Place does
My next book, Tastes of Honey, a biography of playwright Shelagh Delaney, is now available to order from Chatto and Windus. You can read more about it on the Shelagh Delaney page of this website.
I’ll be chairing a discussion with Melissa Benn, author of Life Lessons, and Professor Diane Reay, author of Miseducation, about the future of our education system. Plenty of opportunity for audience questions and discussion. Friends Meeting House, Manchester, 7pm. Booking free but essential here
Join me in conversation with Melissa Benn about her thought-provoking new book Life Lessons at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford at 7pm. Booking free but essential here
On 20 October 2018 I’ll be speaking on what difference one hundred years of some women having the vote has made, at a County Durham CLP women’s conference. Yay for women’s conferences!
On 22 Feb I’m joining Jon Trickett MP to discuss academies – why they’re a terrible idea and what we can do to replace them. Please come and join the discussion. Details here:
This play, based on a radio trilogy composed by Shelagh Delaney, is going to be ace. You can book tickets here safe in the knowledge I am not performing in it. The link gives you information about the play’s content, which spans women’s lives across the last 60 years. It is part of a bigger project on the history of working-class women, culture, and feminism, involving social and affordable housing tenants in a Salford high rise, MaD Theatre Company, and the Working Class Movement Library, which is connected with my forthcoming biography of Shelagh Delaney: more details here.