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Pam Hirsch


University Lecturer until October 2015


Faculty Reception +44 (0)1223 767600


Pam Hirsch specialised in re-writing the history of education (especially, although not exclusively, that of women's education), using new theories of gender. And explored the way in which leaders of the women's movement saw the improved education of girls and women as the first and necessary step towards citizenship and suffrage.

Her work included a feminist re-vision of standard histories of education (where women were largely viewed as the followers of great men). And, by contrast, has considered women in their roles as leaders, ideologues, founders of educational institutions and educational policy-makers. For example she re-appraised Mary Wollstonecraft's reputation as an advocate of 'rational education', including a critique of the political frameworks that have distorted earlier appraisals of her educational philosophy. She wrote more generally on the contribution of women's brainpower to the wealth of the nation, including Practical Visionaries: Women, Education and Social Progress 1790 -1930, co-edited with Mary Hilton.

She wrote a critically acclaimed biography of Barbara Bodichon, which included her role as an educationist, both in setting up a progressive primary school in the mid-nineteenth century and co-founding Girton College, Cambridge, the first university college for women in England.