Sisterhood and after: an oral history of the UK women’s liberation movement, 1968-present

Jolly, Margaretta (2019) Sisterhood and after: an oral history of the UK women’s liberation movement, 1968-present. Oxford Oral History Series . Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN 9780190658847

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This ground-breaking history of the UK Women’s Liberation Movement explores the individual and collective memories of women at its heart. Spanning at least two generations and four nations, and moving through the tumultuous decades from the 1970s to the present, the narrative is powered by feminist oral history, notably the British Library’s Sisterhood and After: The Women’s Liberation Oral History Project. The book mines these precious archives to bring fresh insight into the lives of activists and the campaigns and ideas they mobilised. It navigates still-contested questions of class, race, violence, and upbringing—as well as the intimacies, sexualities and passions that helped fire women’s liberation—and shows why many feminists still regard notions of ‘equality’ or even ‘equal rights’ as insufficient. It casts new light on iconic campaigns and actions in what is sometimes simplified as feminism’s ‘second wave’, and enlivens a narrative too easily framed by ideological abstraction with candid, insightful, sometimes painful personal accounts of national and less well-known women activists. They describe lives shaped not only by structures of race, class, gender, sexuality and physical ability, but by education, age, love and cultural taste. At the same time, they offer extraordinary insights into feminist lifestyles and domestic pleasures, and the crossovers and conflicts between feminists. The work draws on oral history’s strength as creative method, as seen with its conclusion, where readers are urged to enter the archives of feminist memory and use what they find there to shape their own political futures.

Item Type: Book
Keywords: Feminism, Women’s liberation, Second-wave, Oral history, Sisterhood and After, Activism
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Media and Film
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research
Depositing User: Margaretta Jolly
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2017 16:59
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2021 15:32
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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Sisterhood and After: The Women's Liberation Oral History ProjectG0449LEVERHULME TRUSTF/00230/AK