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Unfinished Business: Forgotten Histories of Women’s Scholarship and the Shifting Status of Women’s Education

  • Jean Barr

Lalage Bown championed women’s education for women’s personal empowerment and social progress. She insisted that such empowerment and progress always risk being lost and must be continuously defended and fought for. Part of this project involves remembering past creative achievements and struggles for women’s rights to education and scholarship. The chapter therefore begins with a brief biography of Mary Somerville, the Scottish born scientist after whom the Oxford College attended by Lalage is named. Her name is now unknown to most people. This leads into a discussion of Lalage’s history of Women’s scholarship, past and future and belief that it has flourished where structures are less formal and there is a loosening of the ‘strange clerical culture of science’. A case study of women’s education in the West of Scotland in the 1980s follows to illustrate this view. Current narrowing of Adult Education’s horizons, alongside threats to women’s rights worldwide, is counterposed to Lalage’s and bell hooks’ vision for Adult Education as the ‘practice of freedom’.

  • Keywords:
  • Informality,
  • Professionalisation,
  • Women’s Education,
  • Women’s Studies,
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Jean Barr

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom - ORCID: 0009-0001-1903-7693

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  2. Barrow, Logie. 1986. Independent Spirits. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
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  4. Bown, Lalage. 1996. “Women’s Scholarship Past and Future.” In Women and Higher Education: Past, Present and Future, edited by Mary R. Masson, and Deborah Simonton, 176-89. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.
  5. Bown, Lalage. 2004. “Charge to the Graduates.” Speech delivered at the Graduation Ceremony, University of Glasgow.
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  7. hooks, bell. 1994. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge.
  8. McMillan, Dorothy. 2001. “Introduction.” In Queen of Science: Personal Recollections of Mary Somerville, edited by Dorothy McMillan, xi-xlii. Edinburgh: Canongate Classics.
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  11. Russell, Rosalind. 1988. Women of the Scottish Enlightenment. PhD Dissertation, Glasgow: University of Glasgow.
  12. Smith, Sarah. 2000. “Re-taking the Register: Women’s Higher Education in Glasgow and Beyond c. 1796-1845.” Gender and History 12 (2): 310-35.
  13. Steele, Tom. 2007. Knowledge is Power! The Rise and Fall of Popular Educational Movements, 1848-1939. Oxford: Peter Lang.
  14. Todd, Selina. 2021. Snakes and Ladders: The Great British Social Mobility Myth. London: Chatto and Windus.
  15. Turnbull, R. 2003. “George Elder Davie.” Draft Editorial for Edinburgh Review.
  16. Wilkinson, Richard, and Kate Pickett. 2010. The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger. London: Penguin.
  17. Wilkinson, Richard, and Kate Pickett. 2018. The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Well-Being. London: Penguin.
  18. Williams, Raymond. 1993 [1958]. “Culture is Ordinary.” In Border Country, edited by John McIlroy, and Sallie Westwood, 89-102. Leicester: NIACE.
  19. Yeo, Eileen. 1996. The Contest for Social Science: Relations and Representations of Gender and Class. London: River Orams Press.
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  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Pages: 55-65
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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  • Publication Year: 2023
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Unfinished Business: Forgotten Histories of Women’s Scholarship and the Shifting Status of Women’s Education

Authors

Jean Barr

Language

English

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0253-4.09

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2023

Copyright Information

© 2023 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Adult Education and Social Justice: International Perspectives

Editors

Maria Slowey, Heribert Hinzen, Michael Omolewa, Michael Osborne

Peer Reviewed

Number of Pages

324

Publication Year

2023

Copyright Information

© 2023 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0253-4

ISBN Print

979-12-215-0252-7

eISBN (pdf)

979-12-215-0253-4

eISBN (xml)

979-12-215-0254-1

Series Title

Studies on Adult Learning and Education

Series ISSN

2704-596X

Series E-ISSN

2704-5781

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