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Radical Women | Symposium



[ Special Event )

This event has passed.

Uncovering the histories of pioneering female modernists.

Hear new ideas and current research around modernist women in early 20th century Britain. Explore their connections to art, literature, gender and radical politics to reveal some of the origins of modern feminism.

Taking our exhibition ‘Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries’ as a starting point, this day-long symposium will hear 13 original papers examining the relationships forged, ideas pursued and challenges met by this groundbreaking generation of women.

7 – 8 February 2020

£25 (includes refreshments and lunch on Saturday 8 Feb)

Supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

The Symposium will begin on the evening of Friday 7 February and throughout the day on Saturday 8 February at Pallant House Gallery. An outline of timings are below. Click here for the full programme.

Friday 7 February

5.30 – 6.30pm        Registration and refreshments (provided)

6 – 6.15pm               Welcome

6.15 – 7.15pm          Introduction to Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries by Dr Alicia Foster

Followed by dinner at Pallant Restaurant from 8pm onwards (additional charge for delegates). A limited number of spaces are available – bookings must be made directly with the Pallant Restaurant by Tuesday 4 February.

To book please contact the Pallant Restaurant, 01243 770827/

View the menu


Saturday 8 February

10 – 10.30am           Arrival and refreshments (provided)

10.30am – 1pm        Morning speakers

1-2pm                        Lunch (provided)

2 – 5pm                     Afternoon speakers (with short break for refreshments at 3.30pm)

Scroll down for a full list of sessions of speakers, or download the pdf.

Session Details

Friday 7 February

5.30 – 6.30pm
Registration and refreshments (provided)

6 – 6.15pm

6.15 – 7.15pm
Introduction to Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and her Contemporaries by Dr Alicia Foster

Dinner at Pallant Restaurant.
To book please contact the Pallant Restaurant, 01243 770827/

View the menu


Saturday 8 February

09.30 – 10am
Arrival, refreshments & welcome

Session 1 (10 – 11.15am)

Desperately seeking Ethel: The professional evolution of the painter Ethel Wright
Rosie Broadley [Head of Collection Displays (Victorian to Contemporary), Senior Curator, 20th Century, National Portrait Gallery)

‘Dancing from the visual point of view of the artist’: Margaret Morris, Dance Pictures and Dance Poems
Dr Claudia Tobin [Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge)

‘Only paint and spirit!’: Marguerite Thompson Zorach
Samantha Niederman [University of York)

Session 2 (11.30am – 1.10pm)

Blind Dates: Helen Saunders, questions of attribution and chronology
Brigid Peppin

‘Something of Importance Beyond the Limits of Sight’: Jessica Dismorr and the Early Modernist Prose Poem
Dr Jeremy Noel-Tod [Head of Literature, University of East Anglia)

Women Artists In/Out of Vorticism
Katy Deepwell [Editor, KT press / n.paradoxa)

Cabaret as Panacea: Vorticist women and the spaces of cosmopolitan performance
Jo Cottrell [Birkbeck School of Arts)

Session 3 (2.10 – 3.30pm)

‘The Bitches aint got brains’: Gladys Hynes, Ezra Pound and the Aesthetics of Modernism
Sacha Llewellyn [Co-Founder, Liss Llewellyn)

‘Where Bloomsbury’s writ did not run’: Dorothy Warren, The Warren Gallery & Modernist Cultures in 1920s London
Elizabeth Darling [Reader in Architectural History, Oxford Brookes University)

‘By the way, ‘he’ is ‘she’’: Eva Dorothy / Julian Phelps Allan FRBS
Rosamund West [Paul Mellon Research Curator (Pioneering Women); Royal Society of Sculptors)

Session 4 (3.45 – 5pm)

Radical Women at the Arts League of Service and the Artists International Association
Dr Emma West [British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow; University of Birmingham)

‘[A]re you going out or coming in?’: Mina Loy and the Aesthetics of Reputation
Dr Sophie Oliver [Lecturer in Modernism, University of Liverpool)

A Radical Encounter? The careers of Mary Swanzy and Jessica Dismorr
Cai Lyons [Doctoral Researcher & Haywood Scholar, Barber Institute of Fine Arts; University of Birmingham)

Closing comments
Dr Alicia Foster