by Brandi Hill, President WGSUS
The Women Graduates Swansea University Society promotes and advocates for women in higher education to progress in academia and achieve successful leadership roles. The society works to bring university women together locally, nationally, and internationally to showcase their research and academic achievements. Additionally, the WGSUS creates network environments such as conferences and talks for female students to present their research or area of study. By joining the WGSUS students will gain affiliation with the British Federation of Women Graduates and have the opportunity to be connected to Graduate Women International. Postgraduate female students will be able to apply for scholarship funding and emergency grants, along with promoting their academic profile by participating in research presentation days. Members will also have the opportunity to attend BFWG national and international meetings and work alongside female postgraduates of multiple disciplines.
The WGSUS is proud to present its first public lecture given by Jay Rees, who is a third year PhD student at Swansea University. Her lecture is titled Bob Baker’s Bird of the Week: Perceptions of femininity at Swansea University during the 1960s and will take place on 23 November 2017 in Fulton House Room West at 18:30. Photographed posing alongside a tree, Lynette Asquith made her debut in the student magazine Crefft. Lynette had made the cut for Bob Baker’s Bird of the Week; a weekly feature that produced a catalogue of ‘sexily’ posed women for the paper throughout the 1960s. The consensus behind Lynette’s selection was that she was unmistakably a ‘delectable bird.’ Such terminology, however, was not restricted just to Lynette. Throughout this period, female students at Swansea were described as, ‘lovelies’, ‘bomb-shells’ and even ‘husband-hunters.’ Countless exposés about the elected Rag Queen were spread across the student magazine, while reports of men entering the female residency after hours were heavily commented on across campus. A tendency was emerging for female students to be framed only through their sexual attractiveness and supposed promiscuity. Through the uses of archival material and student recollections, it is the purpose of this lecture to explore how far female students embraced and rejected these newly imposed perceptions. It will illustrate that their calls for greater academic acknowledgement, freedom from objectification and student equality had collided with the ‘delectable bird’ imagery.
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