About the Project

Liberating Histories tells the stories of the Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) through UK feminist magazines and connects these stories to women’s activism today.

A drawing of a defiant woman in a long red dress manacled by broken chains containing the words "patriarchy" and "capitalism in them
Artist Unknown, Scarlet Women.

In this project, we examine the key campaigns and debates of the WLM as they were mediated in magazines. We look at the fight for equal pay, for reproductive rights, affordable childcare and an end to violence against women and girls. We explore how women organised to protest against anti-immigration laws, institutional racism, sexism and homophobia. Feminist magazines shaped these campaigns, creating feminist collective identities and providing spaces for debate. In other words, this project adapts the suffrage rallying cry, ‘deeds not words’, by claiming that words are deeds. These magazines generated the ideas and feelings that mobilised activism. 

The project is led by Dr Victoria Bazin (Principal Investigator), Dr Melanie Waters (Co-Investigator), Professor Kaitlynn Mendes (Co-Investigator) and Dr Eleanor Careless (Postdoctoral Research Fellow), and partnered with LSE Women’s Library. 

A Part of a Leeds Postcards deign which was re-used in an issue of Shocking Pink
A section of a Leeds Postcard image reused by Shocking Pink on one of their letters pages

Want to tell us your story?…

Part of this project is collating stories of the women, like you, who read magazines like Spare Rib, Red Rag, Outwrite, Mukti, Scarlet Women etc. and the impact they had on their lives and attitudes.

If you would like us to include your story in our archive, check out this page to find out how to get involved…