Economic History Society Women's Committee Annual Workshop 2017

25 November 2017, National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

We are pleased to be hosting the 28th Annual Workshop of the Women's Committee of the Economic History Society on Saturday, 25 November. The workshop brings together historians of all career stages to promote women's careers in economic and social history, and promote women's history and feminist approaches to economic and social history.

The theme of this year's workshop is Women's Legal Histories: Justice, Agency and Representation, with papers exploring women's legal and economic status from the medieval to modern periods. The workshop will be held at the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea City Centre. For more details and a registration form see the EHS website or contact


10.30am Registration and Coffee

11.00am-12.30pm Women, work and law

Rhiannon Sandy (Swansea): Female apprentices and female masters: evidence from apprenticeship indentures in medieval England

Charmian Mansell (IHR/Exeter): Female servants and the church courts in early modern England: a new perspective

Sheryllynne Haggerty (Nottingham): Women, wealth and work in eighteenth-century Jamaica: or, the potential of probate

12.30pm Lunch

1.30pm-3.00pm Crime, violence and imprisonment

Emma Cavell (Swansea): Jewish women and violence in the court of the Exchequer of the Jews, 1218-1290

Hannah Telling (Glasgow): Gender and domestic violence: the conditional provision of aliment in judicial separation cases in Scotland, 1850-1914

Elaine Farrell (QUB): Illegal economies, trafficking, and networks of exchange in the nineteenth-century Irish female convict prison

3.00pmCoffee/tea break

3.30pm-5pm Credit, debt and finance

Misha Ewen (UCL): Adventuring her purse: women investors in the Virginia Company

Tawny Paul (Exeter): Women and the debtorsí prisons in eighteenth century Britain

Janette Rutterford (Open): Lady Westmeath and the law: the longest divorce case in history

Past Events

Swansea Symposium: 'Litigating Women: Negotiating Justice in Courts of Law, c. 1100 - c.1750'

28 & 29 June 2017, Swansea University, Singleton Campus

This two-day conference, held in conjunction with Swansea University's annual 'Symposium by the Sea', explored women litigants' access to legal redress and lived experiences of the law, across the known world, in the medieval and early modern periods. Further information and programme may be found here.

View a Storify of the symposium.

and a blog post

Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities, Hofstra University, NY

'Women negotiating the boundaries of justice: the female litigant in Britain and Ireland, c.1400-c.1800', Friday 2 June 2017

Deborah Youngs, Alex Shepard, Sparky Booker and Teresa Phipps travelled to Hofstra University in Long Island, NY, for the 17th Berkshire Conference. This four-day triennial conference, known as 'The Big Berks' drew together over 1,500 scholars and activists from 35 different countries across over 250 different sessions and events. As the largest gathering of its kind in the world, the conference was the ideal forum in which to share some of our project's findings, learn about comparable research in different contexts, and reflect on some of the bigger historiographical themes and conversations in the field.

For more on our session and the conference see the full blog post here.

Glasgow Public Workshop: 'Parenting and the Law'

22 May 2017, Glasgow Women's Library (the only museum in the UK dedicated to women's history!)

This one-day workshop, hosted by the Centre for Gender Studies at the University of Glasgow, explored the allocation and legal regulation of parental rights and responsibilities, past and present. This included the way in which family law has variously addressed and/or contributed to gender in inequality, and how historically gender norms and stereotypes have shaped the processes of entitlement and discrimination associated with motherhood and fatherhood.

See Rebecca Mason's blog post for an account of this terrific event.

International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo

Sunday May 15th 2016, (University of Western Michigan)

Sponsored session: Women and the law in Britain and Ireland, 1100-1500 (MEMO, Swansea)

Participants: Chelsea Hartlan, Maeve Callan, Sparky Booker, Deborah Youngs

Cardiff Workshop on Women Negotiating the Boundaries of Justice: Britain and Ireland, c. 1100-1750.

Thursday April 21 2016, Cardiff University

Plenary Presentation by Professor Tim Stretton (St Mary's University, Canada).

This one day workshop featured discussion of selected, pre-circulated papers, with a view to producing a Special Issue of a peer-reviewed journal from contributors. Further information and agenda: Women Negotiating the Boundaries Programme

Report on the day: Storify and Blog