Annual workshop

For Love or Money?: Women, Amateurs and Professionals

Keynote: Professor Judith Hawley (Royal Holloway, University of London)


Time for the event: Waiting room open from 13.00 (British Summer Time).

Event begins: 13.25.

Ends: 18.30.

Venue: This workshop will take place online, via Zoom.

Price: Free to WSG members

Registration: Please email to register. If you wish to do a 5 minute presentation please advise us of this when you register. 

Proposed Timings: Programme:
13.00 – 13:25 Waiting room opens
13:25 – 13:30 Opening Introduction
13:30 – 14:30 Keynote Paper followed by discussion
14:30 – 14:40 Break
14:40 – 18:15 Participant presentations, including discussions and breaks.

Detailed Timetable will be available in  week prior to Workshop

18:15 – 18:30 Closing comments from Judith Hawley
Post -Workshop We would be glad of comments and links emailed to for us to include in the Post- Workshop pack .
Participant presentations:
All participants are invited to prepare a presentation of no more than 5 minutes from any discipline, related to the speaker’s subject.  Due to time constraints, please keep any PowerPoint presentation brief (maximum of 3 slides or equivalent notes) and send to by 2 May 2021, so that Miriam can devise the presentation timetable and Trudie can combine individual presentations by session. The PowerPoints will be screen-shared during your presentation. These PowerPoints and  any publicity flyers you send will be emailed as a post-Workshop ‘pack’ to participants, unless you specify otherwiseBelow are some topics you may like to consider but other related titles are welcomed.

•          The rise of the professional in the arts and sciences

•          The value of the amateur

•          Disdain for the commercial imperative

•          Training for amateurs in the arts

•          Feminine accomplishments

•          The role of the virtuoso and dilettante

Professor Judith Hawley (Royal Holloway, University of London) will provide our Keynote and lead the discussions. Professor Hawley’s research focusses on eighteenth-century literature and culture and she has published on a range of subjects from literature and science to Laurence Sterne. Of her Keynote ‘For Love or Money?: Women, Amateurs and Professionals’, Professor Hawley writes:

Amateur vs. Professional is one of those binaries which is too readily mapped onto the gender divide. In the past, men might have seemed to have had the monopoly on competence, expertise and commercial standing with women relegated to the status of bumbling amateur. As women were largely excluded from formal education and membership of professional bodies, this division of roles might carry some authority. Yet this binary can be challenged in a number of ways. Women had established proficiency in some trades and were achieving financial success and earning status in (emerging) professions such as literature and the theatre. Moreover, the notion of the inferiority of the amateur has been contested by thinkers such as Robert Stebbins and Richard Sennett who champion the amateur’s independence from the market, finely-honed skills and passionate commitment to their chosen field.

REVISED Workshop poster pdf


The Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837 annual workshop typically takes place every spring at The Foundling Museum, London.  The one-day workshop includes lunch, as well as refreshments, in the booking cost.  The day always follows the same format: a distinguished invited speaker provides the keynote in the morning, followed by discussion and lunch; then participants each give a 5-minute presentation on a subject relevant to the theme of the keynote, followed by discussion, and then the close of the workshop. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 workshop will follow a similar format, but will take place online, via Zoom. Previous speakers have included Professor Laura Gowing of King’s College London and Professor Jeanice Brooks of the University of Southampton.

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