Suffrage, Socialism, and Working Women
"Women's Suffrage and Political Activism" Centenary Conference
Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, England
February 3, 2018
The panel organizers seek a third paper for a proposed panel on “Suffrage, Socialism, and Working Women” at the “Women’s Suffrage and Political Activism” Centenary Conference, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, England, February 3, 2018. For more information, please visit: http://www.hist.cam.ac.uk/research/conferences/current-pdfs/womens-suffrage-cfp.
The conference organizers’ observation that in practice the “working relationships between suffragists [and] socialists were often troubled” is the starting point for considering the relationship between socialism, suffrage, and working women's concerns in the years leading up to WWI. The panel will include a discussion of the well-publicized but under-studied 1907 debate between Teresa Billington Greig, who left the WSPU and co-founded the WFL and whose essays for the socialist New Age offer a case study for debates about women’s suffrage and socialist concerns, and Margaret Bondfield, a shop assistant-turned-union organizer who later became a prominent figure in the Labour Party. The panel organizers are particularly interested in papers that address criticisms of the militant suffrage movement for sidelining working-class concerns, and papers that examine the relationship between women’s suffrage and the adult suffrage platform supported by socialist women.