From left to right at the front is Professor Kendra Strauss (Simon Fraser University Canada), Linda McDowell (Professor Emerita University of Oxford), Dr Sarah-Marie Hall (University of Manchester), Jo Casbourne (Chief Executive, Early Intervention Foundation) and behind, left to right, is Dr Karenjit Clare (Gonville and Caius College Cambridge) and Professor Rosie Cox (Birkbeck College London).
A special event ‘Celebrating the contributions of Linda McDowell’ was jointly organised by the Economic Geography Study Group and the Gender and Feminist Geographies Study Group, as part of the RGS-IBG 2019 Conference on Thursday 29 August.
The event brought together a panel of academics to discuss Professor Linda McDowell’s career, which she has dedicated to the study of changing gender division of labour in times of crisis; from the end of World War II, through the financial crisis, to the so-called crisis of masculinity.
The panel, which was chaired by Professor Rosie Cox (Birkbeck College London), included Professor Linda McDowell. She was joined by two former DPhil research students, Jo Casebourne and Professor Kendra Strauss, former Oxford colleague and mentee Dr Karenjit Clare (University of Cambridge), and Dr Sarah-Marie (University of Manchester) whose work has been influenced by McDowell’s research.
Linda’s achievements, from her work supervising young researchers to book and paper highlights, were celebrated and discussed. Linda ended the event, reflecting on the changing emphases in feminist scholarship since early work by geographers in the 1970s. She shared a photograph of some Lisbon graffiti spotted earlier this year (see below), which translated says “feminism is nothing if it isn't intersectional”. Intersectionality features in Linda’s recent approaches to research, which is ongoing. She is currently finishing a research project on the impact of austerity and precarious employment for young men growing up in coastal towns in the UK, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
Professor Linda McDowell, reflected: “The event made me proud of all the wonderful students I have taught over the years, grateful for having amazing colleagues in the different departments I have taught in, and lucky to have been working as women's lives changed as all sorts of opportunities opened up and feminist work has flourished since the 1970s.”
Harry Pettit, ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Geography and the Environment remarked on twitter: “An incredibly inspiring and often emotional day at #RGSIBG19 where two women, Linda McDowell and Claire Dwyer were celebrated for both their incredible contribution to (feminist) geography and their warm and generous humanity”.