St John's College Oxford
Writing Feminist Lives: Elizabeth Fallaize, Simone de Beauvoir and others

This seminar is to celebrate 40 years since the first admission of women as undergraduates at St John’s College and to mark ten years since the death of Elizabeth Fallaize (1950-2009), the first female official fellow of the College. The papers reflect Elizabeth’s work on Simone de Beauvoir and changes in the lives of women born in the post-war era, as Elizabeth was.

Chair: Professor Linda McDowell

Coffee and introductory remarks 11 am

Session One 11.30- 12.45

Memoirs of a dutiful daughter (girlhood, access to university social and geographical mobility)

Jenny Oliver (French, Worcester College Oxford) ‘Elizabethan inheritances: inspiration, aspirations and books’.

Eve Worth (History, St Hilda’s Oxford) ‘The welfare state generation: girlhood and growing up in the post-war decades’.

Session Two 2.00- 3.15 pm

The Prime of Life (waged work, love etc)

Linda McDowell (Geography, St Johns College Oxford) ‘Working lives: feminist scholarship in the academy’. 

Kate Kirkpatrick (Philosophy, King’s College London) ‘The prime of life and the weight of time’. 

Session Three 3.15-4.30

When All’s said and done (age, retirement, (too early) death

Diana Holmes (French, Leeds University) ‘Feminism, reading and the art of getting old: Annie Ernaux’s The Years and Margaret Drabble’s The Dark Flood Rises’

Hermione Lee (English, Oxford University) ‘A late start: the life and work of Penelope Fitzgerald’.

4.30pm Tea, fizz, cakes 

Kate Kirkpatrick is the author of a new biography about Simone de Beauvoir and there will be an inspection copy of the book available. 

Book your free ticket on Eventbrite.