Public Sex: Josephine Butler and Human Trafficking in Victorian Britain - Prof Sarah Williams / Events

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Public Sex: Josephine Butler and Human Trafficking in Victorian Britain - Prof Sarah Williams


5:00pm-7:00pm, Thursday 18th May 2017


Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6 HG


Free but please register

Public Sex: Josephine Butler and Human Trafficking in Victorian Britain - Prof Sarah Williams primary image

The second lecture in our ‘Arts of Leading’ series is given by Professor Sarah Williams, Professor in the History of Christianity at Regent College, Vancouver, who will speak on the life and leadership of feminist philosopher and social activist, Josephine Butler (1828-1906). Professor Williams is no stranger to Oxford, having previously held teaching posts at Harris Manchester College and Lincoln College. She specialises in the field of nineteenth- and twentieth-century social and cultural history.

From 1869 to 1885 feminist philosopher Josephine Butler brought the plight of the prostitute to the attention of Victorian society. She challenged contemporary sexual ethics and she renegotiated the place of women in the public sphere. But what motivated Butler’s critique of Victorian culture? This lecture will explore the relationship between Butler’s personal life and her political participation, offering an important perspective on questions of character, gender, and leadership.

After the lecture there will be time for discussion and questions considering how the example of Josephine Butler might inform contemporary practice of the arts of leading.

* Image credit: National Portrait Gallery collection, Josephine Elizabeth Butler (née Grey) by George Richmond, pastel, 1851, NPG 6482, Used under Creative commons licence for charity.