Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘women

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Astrodeep by Rich Murray is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I read this article today in The Independent newspaper (available in the LRC) on women and science. According to research, women overestimate the need to be naturally brilliant to succeed in science and engineering. This conclusion follows from research carried out into why so few women do engineering, technology and science degrees and even fewer progress further into such fields. It seems women feel less confident in their instant intellectual abilities.

This is compounded by images in the media portraying geniuses like Sherlock Holmes who when faced with a problem immediately solve it and don’t need to work long and hard at it. I watched the film ‘Theory of Everything’ recently and Stephen Hawking is shown in the lab writing complex maths formulae all across the blackboard. He is just naturally brilliant at physics. But hard work is important too.

Hopefully we can find ways to encourage women and men to challenge themselves with subjects that seem out of reach. There are lots of ways to find out more about subjects before deciding to go to university. For example, University College London holds weekly free lectures in science for everyone to attend. The next one is called ‘Auroras Abound – Comparing the Northern Lights of Earth, Jupiter and Saturn’ on Friday, 23rd January. Does this kind of lecture interest you?

BiographiesHappy new year! We have received our first box of new books. Inside are two biographies on two remarkable fashion designers’ lives.

Firstly, ‘Elsa Schiaparelli: a biography’ by Meryle Secrest looks fascinating as it is not someone I have ever heard of. She was from Rome but then moved to London, New York and Paris during the first half of the 20th Century. Having inspiration and collaboration with artists as famous as Dali made her a star of her time.

Secondly, ‘Vivienne Westwood’ by Vivienne Westwood and Ian Kelly, is an instantly recognisable name to me. Having a quick delve into this hardback book uncovers a chapter which highlights her popularity in Asia. In Mandarin her name translates to ‘Dowager Empress West’. It also looks at her honoured place in American fashion resulting from her designer wedding dress being chosen in the hugely-successful ‘Sex and the City’ movie in 2008. She is also an activist and her voice and actions have a wide resonance.

Having a look at the blurbs and on wikipedia, it is clear that both women had lots of fashion moments of surprise and ingenuity and they often went against convention (as many artists do!). Reading about their lives gives us an insight into their cultural influences over the decades. We have lots more biographies on famous and influential women on our shelves. Come have a browse next time you are in the LRC.

Tuesday 25 November’s Guardian has an interesting article Woolf is for Women – and Mailer’s for Men? How Readers Favour Authors of Own Gender on research done by the website Good Reads about their readers reading habits. The survey found most women and men on their website read fiction where the author matches their gender. Any surprise to you?

However mostly their readers didn’t make a choice to read a male or female author from the start but just chose a book according to how interesting it seemed them.

Good Reads was inspired to run the survey having followed the Twitter campaign #Readwomen encouraging people to read books by female authors. This year a Twitter group @Readwomen2014 has been dedicated to getting female authors’ output read.

Today there’s a chance for libraries to register as a giver for World Book Night 2015. We’ll be selecting the books which we’d like to give out and you can view them on their website too. It’s your chance to be a volunteer and give out books. Plus if you register as a volunteer you can give out books you own that you want to give away free yourself. You will need to register by 30 January 2015.

 

 

 

Gothic literature and Angela Carter coversOur Access to Higher Education Humanities and Social Science students are studying Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and other novels on a Gothic theme. We’ve already supplied them with the Company of Wolves film on DVD and copies of Gothic Literature and  The Fiction of Angela Carter: a Reader’s Essential Criticism by Sarah Gamble and Gothic Literature by Sue Chaplin. Both the BBC and the British Library are launching a focus of programmes and exhibition around the gothic.

Terror and Wonder: the Gothic Imagination from 3 October 2014 to 30 January 2015 at the British Library looks at Gothic literature, film and design influences from early literature by Walpole and Shelley to the films of Stanley Kubrick and the designs of Alexander McQueen. The British Library also has a page dedicated to Gothic Literature.

The BBC is starting a season called When Gothic Was Born. BBC4 begins next week with Andrew Graham-Dixon’s programme The Art of Gothic: Britain’s Midnight Hour on Monday 20 October @ 2100 followed by Dan Cruickshank on the architecture of Sir George Gilbert Scott and Giles Gilbert Scott  in Dan Cruickshank and the Family That Built Gothic Britain on Tuesday 21 October @ 2100. The season also covers film too.

 

 

Revolutionary Lives book coversThis autumn we’ve added two new autobiographies of famous female suffragettes to our collection which are part of Pluto Press’s series on Revolutionary Lives. They focus on Sylvia Pankhurst, daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, and Ellen Wilkinson Both of these are relevant to our Access to Higher Education (HE) Humanities and Social Science students who study female emancipation as part of their history course. We’ve also bought a copy of Molly Housego’s book:

The Women’s Suffrage Movement

which is a colourful easy read to the fight for women’s voting rights.

We’ve also been adding a range of books on sporting women to our biographies collection. These include:

My Life: Queen of the Court by Daniel Paisner and Serena Williams

Serena and Venus Williams: Tennis Stars by Gregory N. Peters

Maria Sharapova by Jeff Savage

Game, Set and Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women’s Sports by Susan Ware

Sporting women book covers

 

PoppyThe LRC team has keenly been recording the latest programmes from the World War I season on BBC 2 over the past few weeks. These include:

The World’s War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire

which explored the recruitment and deployment of soldiers from Africa, India and Asia by the British, French and Germans on the Western Front and throughout the empire.

Our Access to Higher Education Humanities and Social Science students examine the role of women in the First World in the context of the fight for women’s right to vote. BBC 2’s broadcast of Kate Adie’s Women of World War One focused on how the suffragettes gave up their struggle for votes to work for the war effort.

Our students also look at the Raj and slave trade as part of their history programme. The opening of the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton will be a great supplement to their studies. The current exhibition is Re-imagine: Black Women in Britain running until 30 November with free entry. Plus you can explore their catalogue of resources online.

Hillcroft CollgeThis week BBC 2 started a two-part series on Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind the Counter presented by Dr Pamela Cox. Shown on Tuesday 24 June at 2100 the programme charts how women first become involved in shop work and the conditions they worked under.

When it was originally set up in 1920 Hillcroft College  included shop assistants from Debenhams department store amongst its first cohort who were sponsored by Debenhams to improve their education and skills. Our LRC team is recording the programme to add to our archive on women.

Hillcroft is based in the house which belonged to Wilberforce Bryant the owner of the famous Bryant & May matchstick factory in east London where the matchgirls went on strike. 5 July next week marks 126 years since the strike and there is a series of events taking place at the second Matchwomen’s Festival at Hamilton House in London. It includes talks on the strikers, walks and also examines working conditions today. Tickets are £2 and the under 16s go free. Louise Raw author of Strike a Light will be speaking and Kate Connelly on her book about the suffragette leader Sylvia Pankhurst Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire. Our team will be adding both of these books to our collection.

 

 

 

 

DVD stand close upAs the only national residential college for women we keep our eye on television TV programmes focussing on women and women’s issue. Over the past few weeks we’ve been recording two interesting BBC2 programmes. Our ERA licence allows us to record TV that students can borrow and staff can use in the classroom.

Blurred Lines:  the New Battle of the Sexes presented by Kirsty Walk looked at cultural changes which have allowed men to discuss, write and feature women in a sexist and provocative manner. Looks back at Germaine Greer’s 1970s book The Female Eunuch and asks what has made these changes take place. Focuses on the lad culture of the 1990s and the present day and recent cases of Internet trolling. Examines the portrayal of women on the Internet and in gaming.

Pop Go the Women: the Other Story of Pop Art – Culture Show Special discusses women artists involved in the pop art movement from during the 1950s and 1960s. Presented by Alastair Sooke the programme looked at Idelle Weber, Pauline Boty, Jann Hawarth, Marisol, Letty Lou Eisenhauer and Rosalyn Drexler. It investigated how these artists have fallen off the pop art map.

You can catch both progammes on the BBC iPlayer.

Book shelves with biographiesThis week we’ve been adding to our biographies and graphic novels. We’ve had a number of student requests to increase the choice of biographies and reflect the lives of women in other countries and cultures. As a result we ordered in a number of biographies of Chinese and black women:

Falling Leaves Return to their Roots:  the True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah

Samantha Tross: a Profile by Verna Wilkins

Baroness Scotland of Asthal by Sue Adler

and other biographies of musicians and singers as well as a former Member of Parliament:

Amy Winehouse – the Biography, 1983-2011 by Chas Newkey-Burden

Nancy The Story of Lady Astor by Adrian Fort

The Shaking Woman, or, a History of My Nerves by Siri Hustvedt

Under the Ivy: the Life and Music of Kate Bush by Graeme Thomson

plus two graphic novels:

Blue is the Warmest Colour by Julie Maroh

Palestine by Joe Sacco

 

 

DVD and fiction standsIf you’re a fan of the New Zealand director Jane Campion you’ll be aware of her Oscar winning film the Piano. This Saturday 13 July her mini series Top of the Lake starts at 2100 on BBC 2 starring  Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss. Top of the Lake is a crime drama set in New Zealand’s South Island.

Here at Hillcroft’s Learning Resources Centre we like to offer films by inspirational female film directors like Jane Campion so you can also borrow from us some of her other films from our Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC):

Bright Star – starring Abbie Cornish  and Ben Whishaw about the relationship of Fannie Brawn and the romantic poet John Keats.

In the Cut – starring Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo about Frannie a university lecturer who falls for a New York detective investigating a number of murders.

Read the reviews of In the Cut, Brightstar and The Piano on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB).

 


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