Richard Samuel, Portraits in the Characters of the Muses in the Temple of Apollo, oil on canvas, 1779. NPG 4905. © National Portrait Gallery, London. Creative Commons License.

The Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837 is a small, informal, multidisciplinary group formed to promote women’s studies in the early modern period and the long eighteenth century.  Since it was established in the early 1980s, the group has enabled those interested in women’s and gender studies to keep in touch, to hear about one another’s research and publications, and to meet regularly to discuss topics of relevance.  Today, the group:

  • Holds a series of  seminars each academic year. In 2022 – 2023 there will be three in-person seminars  at the Foundling Museum, London, and three online seminars via Zoom.  Recent papers have covered book dedications to Mary I, women and property in the seventeenth century, Jane Austen and Cicero, and eighteenth-century female collectors and material culture
  • Hosts an annual workshop at the Foundling, every spring.  Recent themes have included the novels of Charlotte Smith, women and guilds in the seventeenth-century City of London, and Tudor and Stuart pregnancy portraits
  • Presents a panel at the annual British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference, every January, in Oxford
  • Gives occasional public talks at the Foundling Museum
  • Organises an annual outing for members.  This can take place at any point during the year but is usually in early summer.  Recent outings have included a trip to the Ashmolean Museum prints and drawings study room, and a guided tour of the British Library’s Georgians Revealed exhibition
  • Runs an annual bursary for members with awards up to £500
  • Keeps members informed of pertinent exhibitions, events, talks, publications, and other news via an invitation-only listserv
  • Reaches out to other scholars and curious people via its website, Facebook and Twitter accounts

The WSG is open to men, women and non-binary people, students, faculty and independent scholars. We are trans-inclusive.  Those interested in joining should fill out an application form (see Membership page). 

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