Women Negotiating the Boundaries of Justice: Britain and Ireland, c. 1100 – c. 1750’
AHRC-funded collaboration between Cardiff, Glasgow and Swansea Universities


Swansea University’s ‘Symposium by Sea’ series
Sponsored by the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO)

As part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Women Negotiating the Boundaries of Justice’, and in conjunction with Swansea University’s annual ‘Symposium by the Sea’, we are pleased to announce a two-day symposium on the female litigant in the medieval and early modern period (c.1100-c.1750). The intention is to bring scholars together in order to explore women’s access to legal redress and to shed new light on individuals’ lived experiences of the law. We are seeking 25-minute papers from researchers (of all career-stages) working on any aspect of the history of women litigating in the courts across the known world during this broad timeframe. We welcome work on all courts, regions, jurisdictions, ethnicities, languages and religious and confessional identities, and on any aspect of those histories or historiographies. Post-graduate students are encouraged to apply.*


Topics and approaches might include:


  • The operation of gender in the courts.
  • The practicalities of litigation: travel, subsistence, accommodation, planning and expense.
  • The impact of a woman’s life-stage, status or ethnicity on her experience at law.
  • The woman’s voice and barriers to its ‘audibility’.
  • Visual or textual representation of the female litigant.
  • Specific case-studies and longue durée perspectives.
  • Historiography and ‘where do we go from here?’.


We would like to welcome papers from a broad range of backgrounds, spanning history, law and literature. We highly encourage interdisciplinary approaches to this topic.

Applicants are invited to submit by 21 January 2017 a proposal of 250-300 words, together with a short biography for inclusion in the programme.


Please send proposals to:


Dr Emma Cavell at e.cavell@swansea.ac.uk

or to womenhistlaw@swansea.ac.uk


Queries may also be directed to Dr Emma Cavell at e.cavell@swansea.ac.uk or to womenhistlaw@swansea.ac.uk

tweet us at @WomenHistLaw.




*A reduced rate will be available for the retired, unwaged and students