CGED Research Seminar Series

From Athens to Calcutta: Gender and National Identity in Scottish Women's Early Foreign Missions

From Athens to Calcutta: Gender and National Identity in Scottish Women's Early Foreign Missions

Speaker: Dr. Caroline Lewis

Moderator: Dr. Staci Ford

Date: April 16, 2018

Time: 3:00 – 4:30pm

Venue: Room 404, Run Run Shaw Tower

The paper explores how the figure of the Indian woman in early missionary discourses has dominated accounts of women's early foreign missions in both the English and Scottish contexts. This paper argues that the claims of India have been overstated in analyses of why foreign missions societies were established by women in the 1820s and 1830s. By focusing on an early Scottish women's foreign missionary society, I will explore how gender and national identity also interacted to shape women's initial missionary ambitions overseas.

This seminar will begin with a short paper leading to a discussion between Dr. Lewis and audience members. We welcome those who may be interested in various aspects of women's history, gender and history, missionary history, and religion in transnational contexts. Dr. Lewis is keen to learn more about the work we are doing in these areas here in Hong Kong.

Dr. Lewis read English at University College London and Oxford.  She specialised in women's writing and published an edition of Sappho through English Poetry with the Anvil Press in 1997.  After living and working in Hong Kong, Dr. Lewis completed a PhD at the University of Edinburgh on English and Scottish women missionaries in nineteenth-century India.  She has taught Asian and African History at the University of Edinburgh and has worked with Scottish Women's Aid on a project to build an oral archive on second-wave feminism.  She is also active as a women's officer for the Scottish Labour Party.

Co-sponsored by the Women’s Studies Research Centre.

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