Democracy, Higher Education and Feminism: The Case of Mary Wollstonecraft

  • Date: –15:00
  • Lecturer: Emma Clery
  • Website
  • Organiser: Democracy and Higher Education
  • Contact person: Emma Clery
  • Seminarium

Welcome to a seminar on Emma Clery’s research project “Democracy, Higher Education and Feminism: The Case of Mary Wollstonecraft”.

Democracy and Higher Education holds regular seminars where researchers discuss work in progress.

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) is a profoundly significant figure for the history of democratic rights and of education. She was one of the earliest advocates for co-education, theorizing it as a main driver of socio-political progress. In addition to writing treatises in political philosophy and works on education and contemporary history, she published journalism, a Scandinavian travelogue, and literary fiction promoting ideas of social justice to the broadest possible audience. This project addresses, with Wollstonecraft, the key place of women’s access to education as part of the process by which democratic rule is achieved and sustained.  Wollstonecraft was instrumental to the development of a field of enquiry – feminism - that began outside the walls of the university but has transformed it, and in doing so created the aspiration to make it more inclusive, restructured on the principle of gender equality. These developments are less than a century old and have yet to be fully realized.

Emma Clery is Professor in the Department of English Literature at the Uppsala University. She specialises in British Literature of the 18th and 19th Centuries, print culture, women’s writing and the cultural history of economics.