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Preparatory Reading

Key Texts:

Sue Morgan (ed.), The Feminist History Reader (London: Routledge, 2007) [It would definitely be worth buying this.]

Heidi Safia Mirza, Black British Feminism: A Reader (London: Routledge, 1997) [Worth buying this too]

Special Issue: ‘Rethinking the History of Feminism’, Women: A Cultural Review 21:3 (2010) [Available online]

Margaret Walters, Feminism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: OUP, 2005) [This is a good overview, worth buying]

Barbara Caine, English Feminism 1780-1980 (Oxford: OUP, 1995) [And this would be very useful to always have on hand as a reference guide.]

Hollis (ed.), Women in Public: The Women’s Movement 1850-1900 (1979) [available in library, collection of extracts from primary sources]

Feminist Anthology Collective (ed.) No Turning Back: Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement 1975-1980 (London: Women’s Press, 1981) [available in library, more primary sources]

Wandor (ed.), The Body Politic: Women’s Liberation in Britain 1969-1972 (1972) [You’ll have to buy this online as it’s out of print but you should be able to access it very cheaply. Definitely worth having.]


Databases/ Digitised Sources

Feminist Review [Seminal articles now online open access.]

Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the Women’s Liberation Movement

[ This is an amazing project – you should check it out each week as there will be something there which relates to every theme in this module.]

Women in the National Archives [Online primary sources. Access via Warwick Library: Databases – History]

Many relevant primary sources from our own Modern Records Centre have been digitised here

BBIH [bibliography for British and Irish History – allows you to search by theme and person. Lists articles as well as monographs]

ISS [bibliography for Social Science – ditto]

Deborah Cameron and Joan Scanlon (eds.), The Trouble and Strife Reader (2010) [extracts from a Women's Liberation Movement newspaper/ journal, open access]. More primary sources available here.


Note on Terminology

There is no clear distinction between primary and secondary sources in this course. Reading is divided into ‘documents’ (those primary sources emerging directly from the debates within the feminist movements we are studying) and ‘histories’ (work taking a more analytical approach to and overview of these debates). Some weeks, when we look specifically at debates occurring within the scholarship and history of feminism and at more contemporary issues, there will be no such distinction.



Because there are no lectures, this module really won’t work if you haven’t done the reading. Don’t let your fellow students down by turning up and expecting just a few people to do all the work!

You must read a minimum of 1 ‘document’ and 2 ‘histories’.

All of the readings are either online or in the Library. Some of those for which there are fewer copies have been digitised (they are marked in bold on the reading list). They are available at


A little light reading/ listening for the summer holidays…


Dr. Rashmi Varma,‘Global Feminism’, Warwick University Podcasts:

[bit more serious. Reminds us that feminism exists outside of UK and US!]

Episode 2. ‘Gender and Feminism’ LSE Review of Books Podcast:

[Different interviews with feminist historians and theorists]



Sheila Rowbotham, Promise of a Dream: Remembering the Sixties (2000)

Lynn Segal, Making Trouble: Life and Politics (2007)

bell hooks, Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood (1997)

June Jordan, Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood (2001)

Andrea Dworkin, Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant (2002)

Ellen Kuzwayo, Call Me a Woman (1985)