Herstory event in UCC to highlight extraordinary women ‘erased from history’

Herstory event in UCC to highlight extraordinary women ‘erased from history’
Dr. Maeve O'Riordan UCC. Pic John Sheehan

The lost life stories of women from history and today will be uncovered at UCC’s MA in Women’s Studies Herstory Salon next week.

Herstory, a new national cultural movement inspired by the discovery that there are over a thousand remarkable Irish women’s biographies in the Irish Dictionary of National Biography yet only a few we learn about in school, highlights the need to value the contributions of women in society and give future generations female role models, according to Maeve O'Riordan, Coordinator of the MA in Women's Studies, UCC.

Set to take place in UCC's Staff Common Room next Monday, March 20 at 7pm, this free event will highlight a range of women, from patrons and playwrights to activists and engineers.

UCC President, Professor Patrick O’Shea, will deliver the opening address at the event, before Dr Amy Prendergast (TCD) discusses the eighteenth-century salon in Ireland and how it played an important role in shaping literary culture.

The Salon will dedicate panels to Women as Creators and Feminism in Action, with each speaker talking for 10 minutes. Speakers will include Herstory founder and director, Melanie Lynch; Clíona Ó Gallchoir, UCC Women's Studies and School of English; Orla Egan, UCC Women's Studies and Cork LGBT Digital Archive; Rola Abu Zeid-O'Neill, UCC Women's Studies and ACE; Kathy D'Arcy, UCC Women's Studies and writer; Liz Kiely and Máire Leane, UCC Women's Studies and Applied Social Studies; Róisín O'Gorman, UCC Women's Studies and Department of Drama and Theatre Studies; and Shauna McGrath, UCC MA Women's Studies student.

“The MA in Women’s Studies at UCC is currently celebrating its 25th year. What better way to celebrate than with a series of events honouring women during Women's History Month! A lot has changed in 25 years, but there is still plenty of progress to be made in society. The need for Women’s Studies is still great,” O'Riordan commented.

“The founding members of the MA programme Dr Dolores Dooley, Professor Caroline Fennell, Aveen Henry and Elizabeth Steiner-Scott realised that an inter-disciplinary approach was required. At the time, Steiner-Scott wrote that the course ‘offers students a chance to cross into different areas and pick up different methods of thinking’ (Irish Times, 1991).” 

The MA has retained its commitment to the use of different approaches and methods of thinking with contributions from staff members from more than 10 different academic departments, as well as activists and practitioners from outside the university, O’Riordan added.

Those interested in attending the Salon should register online soon to avoid disappointment. Details at: Herstory.ie/events.

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