New feminism exhibition opens at British Library

Two of the department’s academics have contributed to Unfinished Business, a new British Library exhibition on feminism with an associated book and podcast series.

The exhibition, which continues until February 2021, explores how contemporary feminist activism in the UK - the unfinished business of the title - has its roots in the history of the fight for women’s rights.

Nicholas Owen, Head of the Department and Associate Professor in Politics, has contributed a section on the problems of men in feminism. Owen has also written a chapter in the exhibition’s an accompanying book also entitled Unfinished Business, edited by lead curator Polly Russell and Margaretta Jolly. The chapter is called ‘Men in feminism?’ and explores the complex issues that arise with men’s involvement in campaigns for women’s rights.

Meanwhile, Amia Srinivasan, Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, leads an Unfinished Business podcast episode in which she explores the concerns of the exhibition in a contemporary context: does pleasure exist outside of politics? Can we have feminist sex? Considering the significance of some of the objects in the exhibition, Srinivasan talks to Laurie Nunn, the creator of TV drama Sex Education and historian Zoe Strimpel. She also interviews a group of young women about how the issues of sex, feminism and pleasure interrelate for them.

The exhibition, which opens today and continues until February 2021, explores the fight for women’s rights as unfinished business and includes works from artists such as Khadija Saye and Jo Spence as well as protest fashion and banners created by organisations such as direct-action group Sisters Uncut and human rights advocates Southall Black Sisters