12201083091?profile=originalThis symposium adds to the growing body of feminist scholarship that is deconstructing the male-dominated history of commercial and industrial artistic production. The programme will bring together current interdisciplinary perspectives on women’s experiences of work and the gendered dynamics of commerce in the creative industries in Britain between 1750 and 1950.

We invite critical and creative papers as well as those that present case-studies or deliver in more collaborative formats.

Contributions may focus on, but are not limited to, women at work or women’s involvement in the development of technologies i.e printmaking, photography, film and computing, women’s work in textiles (including dressmaking and millinery), design, architecture, advertising, bookmaking and publishing, the performing arts, music, TV and radio.

We are particularly interested in papers that consider the following topics:

  • Spaces of women’s work: the workshop, the studio, the office, the factory, and work carried out from home (i.e. sweated trades) 
  • Overlaps in women’s professional and domestic roles
  • Collaboration, networks and unions of women workers and professionals
  • Women’s management of finances and the economic factors of their work
  • Women’s experiences of discrimination in the workplace in this period
  • Anonymity or invisibility of women’s work and theft of their intellectual property
  • Demands of emotional labour in the creative industries
  • Distinctions and slippages between professional and amateur ‘work’
  • Historiographies of women’s work in the creative industries
  • Portrayals of professional women in literature and the visual arts
  • How the campaign for suffrage intersected with, or affected, women’s work in the creative industries.


We invite abstracts of 250 words for 20-minute papers. Please submit abstracts and a short biographical note to Erika Lederman, Hannah Lyons and George Mind at womenworkcommerce@gmail.com by 6pm on Friday 30 November 2018.

‘Women, Work and Commerce in the Creative Industries, Britain 1750 – 1950’ is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and organised by Collaborative Doctoral Partnership students Erika Lederman (De Montfort University/V&A) Hannah Lyons (Birkbeck, University of London/ V&A) and George Mind (University of Westminster/National Portrait Gallery).

UPDATE: Conference registration is now available here

Women, Work and Commerce in the Creative Industries, Britain 1750 - 1950

Saturday 9 February 2019, 9.30am – 5.30pm

Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London

Keynote Speakers: Dr Kyriaki Hadjiafxendi and Dr Patricia Zakreski


Call for papers


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