Historian, writer and Hills Road alumna Katherine Connelly is the editor of a new book, A Suffragette in America: Reflections on Prisoners, Pickets and Political Change.
Join her at the book launch on Tuesday 28th May, 6.30pm at Heffers bookshop. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/book-launch-a-suffragette-in-america-by-katherine-connelly-tickets-59754440139
Kate was a student at Hills Road Sixth Form College from 2002-4. This was where she first became involved in political activism, leading walkouts in protest at the Iraq war in 2003. She went on to study History at Queen Mary, University of London, graduating with First Class Honours in 2008. She completed her Masters in 'Paris Studies: History and Culture of the City' at the University of London Institute in Paris and returned to Queen Mary to undertake a PhD in History under the supervision of Gareth Stedman Jones. She was awarded her doctorate in January 2018 for her thesis entitled 'Conjuring away the Revolution: Parisian popular culture in Marx's writings on the French Second Republic'. Kate is currently a lecturer in London.
In 2013 she published her first book, a biography of Sylvia Pankhurst: Sylvia Pankhurst; Suffragette, Socialist and Scourge of Empire
(Pluto Press, 2013). In the same year she co-ordinated the Emily Wilding Davison Memorial Campaign. She continues to write widely on the suffragette movement.
Kate said, "I first came across Sylvia Pankhurst's manuscript on America whilst researching the biography, it was such an extraordinary text that it remained on my mind ever since. I was fortunate enough to get to know Sylvia's son, the late Professor Richard Pankhurst, and we discussed how interesting and little known Sylvia's lecture tours of America were."
"I was originally planning to write an article about it. When I submitted my PhD, I went on holiday with my partner to New York - it was the first time I had been to America and I was struck by the incredible radical history of New York's Lower East Side. I was interested to know where Sylvia had been and thought I might just drop by the New York Public Library. There, to my astonishment, were letters from Sylvia Pankhurst to Lillian Wald at the Henry Street Settlement . . . on the Lower East Side. The following year, we returned for a research trip in America and the more I found the more I realised what an incredible story this was. Knowing what Sylvia was doing in America and what she was learning, illuminated that wonderful manuscript I had read. I decided to publish that manuscript and write an introduction placing it in its context so that others could share in my excitement about it and be inspired. This summer, I'll take the book to America and I'll be blogging about new information that I find and writing on America past and present: https://asuffragetteinamerica.blogspot.com/