A variety of campaigning badges.

Exhibitions

This exhibition is now closed until further notice

Social Revolution: women's liberation and gay liberation in the 1970s and 80s

Our spring exhibition marks 50 years since the beginnings of two significant social movements in the UK: the first women’s liberation conference in Oxford and the first UK meeting of the Gay Liberation Front at LSE.

Handwritten list of demands by the Gay Liberation Front.

This exhibition explores how both movements mobilised thousands of people to believe that they could change the world through speaking out and challenging the status quo.

An event flyer.

The exhibition displays material from the Hall-Carpenter Archives and the Women’s Library and, in particular, it shows how activists used and transformed publishing, performance and visual imagery around gender. 

An event programme.

Family Functions GCSE Resource

Our Family Functions presentation [PPT 9MB] presents Caroline Norton in Victorian Britain and the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1970s as two case studies around campaigns to change the conditions of marriage. 

Family Functions can be used to look at the changing role of women in GCSE Religious Studies, Sociology and History.

Curriculum links:

  • GCSE Religious Studies AQA 3.2.1 Theme A: Relationships and Families – Gender Equality; Religious Studies OCR J625 Relationships and Families / Challenges to religion – Secular attitudes / legal changes to marriage, divorce and gender roles within families in Britain.
  • GCSE Sociology AQA 3.3 Families – Conjugal role relationships and feminist views
  • GCSE History AQA BB Britain: Power and the people: Part 4. Equality and Rights – Women’s Rights.

There are general background notes on to assist with the PowerPoint [DOC] and a PDF print of the 1975 Why Be A Wife Campaign leaflet [PDF 2MB]. They do not follow the presentation exactly but assist with giving a wider context so you can adapt / use the PowerPoint as you want to.

Events

Podcast of talk Storying Feminist History on the 30 January 2020

Professor Margaretta Jolly (University of Sussex), talked on her new book Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the UK Women’s Liberation Movement, 1968-present, and wove together personal stories of feminists across the regions, nations, classes and ethnicities of the UK.

Interrogating the politics of experience, she invited us to consider how to narrate a major period in women’s rights’ struggle, drawing on Clare Hemmings’ challenge to ‘tell feminist histories’ without nostalgia, teleology or identity politics. She considered a similar challenge in her co-editing, with Dr Polly Russell, the book associated with the British Library’s groundbreaking exhibition Unfinished Business: The Struggle for Women’s Rights, opening in April 2020. Debbie Challis joined as a contributor to the book.

Listen to the Storying Feminist History podcast

Explore these collections

Learn more through our LGBT and Women's Liberation Movement pages or explore further through other collection highlights

Opening times and visiting

LSE Library building is now closed until further notice and you are no longer able to visit this exhibition.

Event poster for an upcoming exhibition

Find and contact us

LSE Library, 10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD

View on Google Maps.

For further information, contact the team marking your email for the attention of Gillian Murphy.