Silenced Histories – Symposium

Silenced Histories – Symposium

Gendering the Old Town – women led social change in late nineteenth century Edinburgh

Venue: The Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddles Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2PG
Date and Time: Thursday 28 March 2019, 9:30 – 16:30
Cost: £25 – £40

Organised by The Patrick Geddes Centre at Riddles’ Court.
Tickets via Eventbrite here.


10.00 – 12.30

Morning session – presentations, papers and discussion (refreshment break approx. 11.00am)

  • Dr. Elizabeth Darling – Women of the social and urban improvement causes and campaigns in Edinburgh
  • We will interrogate the roles and position women held, what they achieved and why their stories have been obscured in history; did Patrick Geddes and his male peers directly replicate the work of women led movements around the country, to social improvement work in Old Edinburgh?
  • Dr. Deborah Reid – Women pioneers in garden design and landscape movements c1800-1930, including the, often overlooked, work of Norah Geddes, that of Mary Elizabeth Burton and other women pioneers who found opportunities in an area usually dominated by men.
  • St Andrews University Art History graduate and Geddes Centre volunteer intern Claire Robertson, will be sharing some of the research she has done into the women of the Edinburgh Social Union including Helen Kerr and Elizabeth Haldane.

12.30-13.30 Sandwich and Soup Lunch


Afternoon session – outreach activity

  • Visit to National Museums of Scotland led by Geddes Centre learning officer, Russell Clegg. Here we will look at and interrogate some of the material legacies of women in the arts, design and craft movements both domestically and professionally. We will also look specifically at the collection relating to Phoebe Anna Traquair, a revival of whom over the last 30 years, has led to her being celebrated as one of the pioneering women artists of the late nineteenth century.