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Sheila Rowbotham Biography

(1943– ), Black Dwarf, Women, Resistance and Revolution

women feminism socialist social

British feminist historian, born in Leeds, educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford. During the 1960s and 1970s she taught with the Workers' Educational Association. In 1968 she joined the editorial staff of the radical socialist journal Black Dwarf. She has also held several academic posts. Her endeavour to establish the historical provenance of the women's movement of the 1970s began with Women, Resistance and Revolution (1972) and continued in a succession of works which includes Hidden from History: 300 Years of Women's Oppression and the Fight against It (1973), the biographical study A New World for Women: Stella Browne, Socialist Feminist (1977), Dreams and Dilemmas: Collected Writings (1983), Women in Movement: Feminism and Social Action (1992), and Homeworkers Worldwide (1993). Rowbotham's work is notable for the close interaction of her socialist views and her deep imaginative commitment to the implications of feminism. The Past Is Before Us (1989), her survey of the development of feminism in recent decades, gains authority from her personal experience as an activist for political and social change. Her other publications include Socialism and the New Life (with Jeffrey Weeks, 1977), a study of Havelock Ellis and Edward Carpenter.

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