The Bedford Centre for the History of Women builds on the long standing contribution of Bedford New College, the first college of higher education for women, founded in 1849, which joined with Royal Holloway in 1986, to women’s higher education and intellectual lives. The Centre aims to:
- promote research in the history of women and gender – including masculinity and the ways gender identities intersect with other class, racial, religious and sexual identities
- create networks of scholars working in these fields in the UK and internationally
- foster teaching in the history of women and gender for undergraduates and taught and research postgraduate students
- inspire discussions about women in the past that relate to current debates and public history
- forge links between historians of women and gender and feminists outside the academy
- engage with wider publics through the media, heritage organisations, online communities and schools
The History Department at Royal Holloway includes a number of leading researchers who work on the history of women and gender. The current directors of the Centre are Dr. Jane Hamlett, Dr Stella Moss and Dr. Nicola Phillips.