Stories of Women and the Past: International Women’s Day 2024

Recording of Stories of Women and the Past, a full day workshop at the Society of Antiquaries, 8 March 2024

We had a great time at the Society of Antiquaries on 8 March, welcoming a fantastic range of speakers to the Society for our final public engagement event of the project, a full day workshop “Stories of Women and the Past”.

This event was recorded, and you can now watch it via the Society of Antiquaries YouTube account.

Approximate timecodes for the talks are as follows:

1.22 | Introduction and Housekeeping (Amara Thornton, Beyond Notability)

6.54 | STORY PERFORMANCE: Changing Times – Charlotte Stopes (Vanessa Woolf):

23.18 | AI and Women on the Edge of the Archive (Catherine Clarke, Institute of HIstorical Research)

38.13 | 19th Century Bloomsbury Women who Changed our Lives (Julia Pascal, Pascal Theatre Co.)

51.00 | Q&A (Catherine and Julia)

1.24.02 | STORY PERFORMANCE: Five Stones for Alice – Alice Gomme (Vanessa Woolf):

1.37.00 | Illuminating Knowledge (Kath Van Uytrecht and Katy Drake)

1.52.22 | “Walking Images” – Caribbean Social Forum (Pamela Franklin, Caribbean Social Forum)

2.07.53 | Q&A (Kath & Pamela)

3.15.11 | STORY PERFORMANCE: Wall of Stories – Jessie Mothersole & Elizabeth Hodgson (Vanessa Woolf)

3.27.54 | Approaching the Goddess – Grimes Graves & Archaeological Search for Female Devine (Jennifer Wexler, English Heritage)

3.48.00 | Rome Play – Reimagining history and myth for Children (author Marie Basting in conversation with Debbie Challis)

4.01.49 | Q&A (Marie and Jennifer)

4.30.00 | STORY PERFORMANCE: Island Song – Edith Blake (Vanessa Woolf)

4.43.21 | Shebmut: the search for missing mummy stories (Emma Anderson & Bryony Renshaw, The Silk Museum, Macclesfield)

5.04.54 | Historical Costumes and Storytelling (Jo Badger in conversation with Debbie Challis)

5.28.57 | Q&A (Emma, Bryony and Jo)

5.50.00 | Vanessa and Amara on creating the stories for Beyond Notability, in coversation with Katherine

Vanessa has written a series of posts her personal website sharing some of the process of creating the stories:

On the story for Edith Blake –

On the story for Alice Gomme –

On the story for Jessie Mothersole and Elizabeth Hodgson –

On the story for Charlotte Stopes –

And her reflection on our International Women’s Day workshop is here:

Stories of Women and the Past: International Women’s Day 2024

A full day of reflections, information and ideas about women and how they explored the past, punctuated by four specially created stories.

This event was recorded and is available to watch here.

Since 2021, the team behind Beyond Notability, based at the Institute of Classical Studies at University of London and the University of Southampton in partnership with the Society of Antiquaries, has been working on recovering the names, lives, residences and (most importantly) work of women in the archives of the Society of Antiquaries and elsewhere. Taking inspiration from and drawing on this work, we present a day seminar on Storytelling, Inclusivity and (Re)Presenting Women’s Work in Archaeology, History and Heritage.

The Programme for the day is now available here and includes biographies of the people speaking. There may still be small changes:

Four performances commissioned from storyteller Vanessa Woolf will interpret some of our research around some key women, such as Charlotte Stopes, themes, like folklore, and places, such as Hadrian’s Wall. Readings of these stories on the day will be followed by talks from and with academics, heritage professionals and creative practitioners on how they engage with the past and women’s work in these areas. The day considers storytelling through books, re-enactments, costume and interpretation in heritage sites and museums.

There will be presentations covering theatre and community, AI, the historic environment, museum displays, inclusive re-enactment and research-inspired art from Julia Pascal (Pascal Theatre Co.),  Catherine Clarke (Institute of Historical Research), Jo Badger (historical costume-maker), Pamela Franklin (Caribbean Social Forum),  Jennifer Wexler (English Heritage), Marie Basting (author), Emma Anderson and Bryony Renshaw (Silk Museum Macclesfield), Katy Drake and Kath Van Uytrecht (Society of Antiquaries Artists-in-Residence). Amara Thornton and Katherine Harloe (Beyond Notability / Institute of Classical Studies) will facilitate discussion and reflect on the process needed to engage creatively with the stories and women found in the archives the team has examined.

Join in the conversation online: #StorytellingWomen #IWD2024 #InternationalWomensDay #WomensHistoryMonth