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Women's History Month: Women in Prison – Lecture and Exhibition Launch

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Hopkins Room, Stratford Library

3 The Grove

London

E15 1EL

United Kingdom

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Join us for a free, welcoming and relaxed event for Women's History Month. All are welcome to attend, regardless of previous knowledge.

About this Event

Why have the lives of women prisoners been so often ignored by academia? And what does prisoner reform really mean in practice? Join Dr Susy Menis, Lecturer in Law at Birkbeck, for this fascinating lecture as part of Women's History Month. This lecture also launches an exhibition of watercolour paintings by Noriko Hisazumi on the subject of women prisoners.

Criminology has long been considered a field with a male-dominated subject matter. Academics have criticised the dearth of writing about the lives and experiences of women prisoners.

This lecture will explore the theme of the ‘invisibility’ of women prisoners from a historical perspective, focusing on 19th and early 20th century England. Has the perception of ‘invisibility’ stemmed from penal policy which has ignored women prisoners, or is it due to little academic engagement with the question of women’s experiences?

This lecture is based on the research of Dr Susy Menis, Lecturer in Law at Birkbeck, University of London, in her recent book A History of Women’s Prisons in England: The Myth of Prisoner Reformation (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2020). The book sheds light on the development of women’s prisons and the creation of a prison regime and policies that suit women prisoners. The lecture will provide insight into the tension between prison policy and its application in practice and the development of HMP Askham Grange, the first open prison for women.

The lecture will be accompanied by an exhibition of watercolour paintings, which will be upstairs in Stratford Library. The paintings have been created by the artist Noriko Hisazumi, who was inspired by the primary historical sources used in the study A History of Women’s Prisons in England: The Myth of Prisoner Reformation. The artwork creates a site for reflection: it brings to the surface what may be hidden or absent in writing. The free exhibition is available to view from 13-31st March during library opening hours (see https://www.newham.gov.uk/Pages/ServiceChild/Stratford-Library.aspx for timings). No booking needed.

Accessibility information:

There will be step-free access to the rooms via lifts. There may be doors in the corridors which need to be opened manually.

Please contact us in advance of the event at getstarted@bbk.ac.uk with your accessibility requirements so that we can ensure you will be able to get the most from this event. For some requirements, e.g. BSL interpreters, we may need a few days' notice to make arrangements, so please let us know as soon as possible.

Please contact us if you have any concerns around travel costs to attend this event.

Children and babies:

Please note: There is no crèche or childcare available at this lecture, but you are welcome to bring babies and children, as long as you feel that you can supervise them throughout the lecture. Please email getstarted@bbk.ac.uk beforehand just to let us know.

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Date and Time

Location

Hopkins Room, Stratford Library

3 The Grove

London

E15 1EL

United Kingdom

View Map

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