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Presented by Arnolfini Book Club – the co-author of a new history of the women’s liberation movements of the UK and the US, in conversation with a legendary feminist historian and revolutionary theorist.

Join D-M Withers, interviewed by Sheila Rowbotham, as they celebrate the publication of D-M’s book The Feminist Revolution: The Struggle for Women’s Liberation, 1966-1988 (Virago 2018), declared by Oprah’s book club as a ‘must-read’. The Feminist Revolution (co-authored by Bonnie Morris) tells the history of women’s liberation movements since the 1960s and is richly illustrated with rarely seen photographs and archival ephemera.

D-M and Sheila will explore the desire for excavating ‘hidden’ and marginalised feminist histories – a passion shared by both authors who come from different political generations.

Arnolfini is proud to honour generations of activism for women’s liberation with this event, part of Feminist Book Fortnight, a nation-wide burst of activity that celebrates the resurgence of feminist writing within contemporary culture. 


D-M Withers is a cultural theorist, historian and Research Fellow based at the University of Sussex. Their research engages with the cultural heritage of feminist social movements and the politics of the archive. D-M’s book Feminism, Digital Culture and the Politics of Transmission: Theory, Practice and Cultural Heritage won the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association book prize in 2016. D-M is trustee of the Feminist Archive South, an important archive of feminist materials based in Special Collections at the University of Bristol and is currently researching the histories of feminist publishing in the Leverhulme funded project The Business of Women’s Words.

Sheila Rowbotham’s incendiary 1969 pamphlet ‘Women’s Liberation and the New Politics’ helped ignite the Women’s Liberation Movement in the UK. She was one of the organisers of the first national women’s conference at Ruskin and was involved in campaigns to unionise night cleaners, defend abortion rights and childcare. Sheila has authored numerous books including Women, resistance, and revolution: a history of women and revolution in the modern world (1972); Woman’s Consciousness, Man’s World (1973); and Hidden from History: 300 years of Women’s Oppression and the Fight against it (1973), Promise of a Dream: Remembering the Sixties (2001); and Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century (2010) and most recently Rebel Crossings: New Women, Free Lovers and Radicals in Britain and the United States (2016).