Durham University

Josephine Butler

Butler Talks

About Butler Talks

Josephine Butler College is named after the 19th Century social reformer, who played a major role in improving the conditions for women, both in terms of public health and education. She has been described as one of the most important early members of the feminist movement and we as a College are proud to bear her name.

In celebration of the naming of Josephine Butler College and indeed in celebration of the memory of Josephine Butler and her work, we began hosting talks at Butler soon after the college opened in 2006. The first lecture was given, appropriately, by Jane Jordan, Josephine Butler’s biographer. Jane spoke about Josephine Butler’s life and the extraordinarily wide-ranging influence that she had on the social and political standing of women in the UK and Europe in the late 1800s.

We continue to forward some of the issues that exercised Josephine Butler through our present series of Butler Talks, expanding upon these to explore current themes that we believe may have drawn her attention were she alive today. With a broad, interdisciplinary focus on social welfare, women’s health and education, the College has welcomed a range of speakers who have shared their work with our students, staff and local community.

Previous Butler Talks