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Championing Her Story

18 February 2019

Championing forgotten women in Women’s History Month

Women from across world history are taking centre stage in a special initiative aiming to help right the little-recognised achievements of one half of humankind.

The #ChampioningHerStory initiative from the School of History, Archaeology and Religion is running throughout Women’s History Month (March).

The forgotten women from across civilisations and time are being championed by historians and History students across the month, culminating in the #ChampioningHerStory finale on Friday 15 March.

A biracial British civil rights campaigner, a Byzantine empress, a former Viking slave, and a Welsh language campaigner and the world’s first poet are among the women celebrated this year.

Dr Marion Loeffler, Lecturer in Welsh History and Assistant Editor of the Dictionary of Welsh Biography is advocating a little-recognised figure from Welsh modern history in the initiative.

She said: “History and historians on all continents and periods have focused on men and the male for too long, neglecting the contribution of over 50% of the population to the shaping of lives, countries and ideas.Instead of being celebrated as trail-blazers, women like Mallt Williams, designer of a national dress, early Welsh-learner and major sponsor of a national movement, have been forgotten or even ridiculed. The twenty-first century needs to put this right."

The featured women from history will be revealed weekdays on social media from 1st March, culminating in a finale event sharing their lives and achievements in bite-size five-minute presentations at a celebratory event at the School.

The women featured in #ChampioningHerStory Women’s History Month 2019 at Cardiff University are:

Frances Batty Shand - 19th century civil rights campaigner (c1815-1885)

Dorothea of Montau - late medieval prophet and hermit (died 1394)

Enheduanna - ancient Sumerian priestess (23rd century BC)

Anna Komnene -Byzantine historian and emperor’s daughter (1083-1153)

Empress Mathilda – claimant to the English throne during the civil war known as The Anarchy (1102-1167)

Mary Owen - who overcame false accusations of murder in Tudor Wales

Melkorka – Viking-enslaved Irish princess (born c 910)

Mallt Williams - Welsh language campaigner (1867-1950)

Hester Piozzi - Welsh-born patron of the arts and writer

Artemisia Gentileschi - great Baroque artist

Acting as 21st century advocates for the forgotten or unsung figures are historians with expertise spanning Ancient, Medieval History, Early Modern and Modern times alongside postgraduates.

Advocates include Dr Emily Cock, Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Dr Marion Loeffler and Dr David Wyatt and postgraduates Hayley Bassett, Elizabeth Howard, Gregory Leighton, Ewan Short, Eviemay Thomas and Madeleine Webb.

Chairing the finale of #ChampioningHerStory is Public Historian Sara Huws, Co-Director of London’s East End Women’s Museum.

Inspired by national and international campaigns such as HiddenHeroines in Wales and the Overlooked project in the USA, #ChampioningHerStory takes place alongside the University’s Diversity Fortnight.

The Diversity fortnight kicks off with Someone Like Me – Women of Cardiff University on International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March).  Founder of Guerrilla Archaeology and the School’s Director of Research Professor Jacqui Mulville is one of a number of women giving their own personal insight into their fields and their own career journeys.

Follow the story of these amazing women from history by following #ChampioningHerStory on Twitter or Facebook.

#ChampioningHerStory runs throughout Women’s History Month with its finale on Friday 15 March at 3pm in John Percival Building, Lecture Theatre 2.03. All are welcome.