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St Hilda's Feminist Salon: “Women in Oxford” in partnership with Herstory.


The St Hilda’s Feminist Salon is a space to bridge the gap between feminist theory and practice, and to discuss the complexities of feminism today. For each salon a guest is invited to act as host.  A range of exciting speakers are invited, from the cutting edge of feminist theory, art and activism.  Each salon is different. Salons are open to anyone and are held in the Senior Common Room, St Hilda’s College.  The room is wheelchair accessible. The salon will be available on the internet and people outside Oxford can participate by sending in questions via twitter or facebook.

What happened at the event

This Feminist Salon was organised in association with a new cultural movement, Herstory, an Irish salon initiative that seeks to rehabilitate women forgotten from Irish history, with an aim to extend its concept globally. The first Herstory Salon was held on the day of Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the USA (20 January 2017) and this salon in Oxford was held on the first anniversary of Trump's inauguration.

The theme of this Feminist Salon was "Women of Oxford", with the aim of celebrating the women of Oxford, past and present, town and gown. Invited speakers included Professor Patricia Daley, who talked about her experiences in becoming the first black woman professor at Oxford University; Melanie Lynch, founder and director of Herstory, talked about the salons she has held so far and those planned for the future; local historian Liz Woolley gave a talk on Olive Gibbs, a local Labour politician and anti-nuclear war campaigner; Rhodes Scholar and performance poet Rene Sharanya Verma performed one of her excellent poems; J C Niala discussed the "Women in Oxford's History" podcast project; and St Hilda's own Janet Howarth gave a talk on the history of women's education and the women's colleges in Oxford.

The event was very successful and the discussion continued over dinner with the guest speakers and invited guests.