The School of Liberal Arts, University of Wollongong invites you to attend the
Agora Speaker Series
Thursday 20 October, 3.30 to 5.00pm
This is an in-person event at the University of Wollongong - Register 

Professor Jacqueline Broad (Monash University)

Was there any such thing as feminism prior to the late eighteenth century?
There is a common view that, prior to the Enlightenment period in late 
eighteenth-century Europe, there was no such thing as feminism and no 
recognisably feminist arguments for women's rights. Some scholars claim that it 
is in fact anachronistic to regard pro-woman treatises of this period as 
feminist in the proper sense of the word. The purpose of this talk is to 
demonstrate that that view is mistaken. I argue that pro-woman authors of the 
early modern period (from roughly 1600 to 1750) had the appropriate conceptual 
tools to develop feminist arguments for women's rights. They argued not only 
that women had the requisite moral standing to make normative demands on others 
but also that others were obliged to respect those demands. To substantiate 
this point, I identify a recurring pattern of argument in early modern women's 
writings that appeals to women's dignity, nobility, and/or excellence as the 
basis of their moral standing.

The Agora Speaker Series is proudly hosted by
The School of Liberal Arts
Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522 Australia
SOLA Enquiries<>
T +61 2 4221 4160

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