Women in Trousers

Dr Becky Munford (Cardiff University) has been awarded a British Academy Small Research Grant to undertake research for her project ‘Women in Trousers: A Cultural History, 1789 to the Present’. Linked with periods of social and political upheaval, women’s liberation, radical thought, aesthetic innovation and erotic freedom, trouser-wearing women in the West have historically represented an illegitimate assumption of male authority and power—of ‘wearing the trousers’—that destabilises fixed notions of sexual difference and threatens the fabric of the social order. The aim of Becky’s research is to illuminate and analyse the complex meanings assigned to and by women in trousers in the British Isles, France and America since the French Revolution. As part of her research, she will be visiting archives in Bath, London, Paris and New York; she will be sharing some of her research findings on the CEIR blog in the coming months.


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