About

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.
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 three seminars each academic year at the Foundling Museum, London.  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. For further information see current seminars
  • 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.  For further information see annual workshop
  • Presents a panel at the annual British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies conference, every January, in Oxford
  • Gives an annual public talk 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
  • Keeps members informed of pertinent exhibitions, events, talks, publications, and other news via an invitation-only listserv
  • Provides members with a website forum in which they can create a profile, list their interests and contact details, and read other members’ profiles
  • 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.   Curious people interested in joining should fill out an application form and post it to our Membership Secretary, or bring it along to one of our events.