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WGSUS Public Talk: Bob Baker’s Bird of the Week

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Fulton House Room West

Swansea University

Singleton Campus

Swansea

SA2 8PP

United Kingdom

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Women Graduates Swansea University Society

present

Bob Baker’s Bird of the Week: Perceptions of femininity at Swansea University during the 1960s

by Jay Rees

Thursday 23 November 2017, Fulton House Room West

Public Lecture 18:30 – 19:30 with reception afterwards

Entry is free but donations are welcomed

Aderyn yr Wythnos Bob Baker: Canfyddiadau o ffeministiaeth ym Mhrifysgol Abertawe yn ystod yr 1960au

gan Jay Rees

Dydd Iau 23 Tachwedd 2017, Fulton House Room West

Darlith Gyhoeddus 18:30-19:30 gyda’r dderbynfa wedyn

Mynediad am ddim ond croesawir rhoddion

Abstract: Photographed posing alongside a tree, Lynette Asquith made her debut in the student magazine Crefft. Lynette had made the cut for Bob Baker’s Bird of the Week; a weekly feature that produced a catalogue of ‘sexily’ posed women for the paper throughout the 1960s. The consensus behind Lynette’s selection was that she was unmistakably a ‘delectable bird.’ Such terminology, however, was not restricted just to Lynette. Throughout this period, female students at Swansea were described as, ‘lovelies’, ‘bomb-shells’ and even ‘husband-hunters.’ Countless exposés about the elected Rag Queen were spread across the student magazine, while reports of men entering the female residency after hours were heavily commented on across campus. A tendency was emerging for female students to be framed only through their sexual attractiveness and supposed promiscuity. Through the uses of archival material and student recollections, it is the purpose of this paper to explore how far female students embraced and rejected these newly imposed perceptions. It will illustrate that their calls for greater academic acknowledgement, freedom from objectification and student equality had collided with the ‘delectable bird’ imagery.

Jay Rees is a third year PhD student at Swansea University and her research focuses on Student experience at Swansea University, 1920-1990. The purpose of her thesis is to capture student life at Swansea University between the years 1920 and 1990, paying particular attention to how students have reflected wider social and cultural trends. Its research focuses on numerous themes, including student experience of the university, the Second World War and the rise of youth culture. The study will explore how student attitudes towards protest, gender, fashion, relationships, and the surrounding community have changed over time. The finished article will provide not only a comprehensive and cohesive account of student life at this institution, but will also act as a lens through which to view student life in the twentieth century. The research has been generated through her own oral history project, questionnaires and student based archival material.


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Fulton House Room West

Swansea University

Singleton Campus

Swansea

SA2 8PP

United Kingdom

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