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Name: Lauren Eglen

PhD: American Studies

Thesis Title: 'The Heart of the Collective’: Black Women’s Activism and Freedomways Magazine, 1961-1985

Thesis Description:

My project explores how Freedomways magazine constituted an important tool for Black women's activism in the Black Freedom Struggle. It provided a vehicle for the continuation of Old Left women’s activism with Esther Cooper Jackson and Shirley Graham in leadership roles from the magazine’s inception, as well as Augusta Jackson, Dorothy Burnham and Ruby Dee as part of the initial collective. Freedomways was a tool that enabled Black women to communicate and educate readers through new and established activist networks cultivated by the Old Left, these networks were sustained particularly through the efforts of Black women. The ways in which Black women utilised Freedomways as a space for their activism will be unpacked throughout the thesis – the chapters will answer the question of how black women’s activism is engaged within Freedomways and how the magazine was used as a tool in the freedom struggle. To do so, my project analyses Black women's leadership on the editorial board, the articulation of a Black international feminism, and the magazine's promotion of established and emerging Black female artists and writers. 


Supervisors and Institution(s): 

Professor Peter Ling, University of Nottingham

Dr Karen Salt, University of Nottingham


Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):

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Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:

Conferences (Presented at)


'The Radical Repercussions of Respectability: The Activism of Dr Dorothy Height', HOTCUS Winter Symposium, February 2018

'Race and the American Working Mother: African American Women's Social Activism Between the Waves, 1930-1965, EBASS 2018, April 2018

'Making Space: Black Women’s Activism in Freedomways Magazine, 1961-1985', SHAW Society 2018 Annual Conference, July 2018


'Black Women's Internationalism in the Pages of Freedomways Magazine, 1961-1985', HOTCUS Conference 2019, June 2019

Conferences (organised)

British Association of American Studies Postgraduate Conference 2019, (forthcoming December 2019)


Lead organiser of the M4C funded Race, Gender and Sexuality (RaGeS) Writing Retreat 2019

Other Research Interests:

  • Twentieth Century US Social Movements; 
  • Civil Rights Movement; 
  • Black Power Movement; 
  • Second Wave Feminist Movement; 
  • African American History; 
  • Women's History
  • Modern Slavery



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