Ursula Masson Memorial Lecture


Each year on March 8th, International Women’s Day (or on the nearest week day), the Centre for Gender Studies in Wales presents a public lecture, the Ursula Masson Memorial Lecture, to celebrate the day and to commemorate its founder.

Dr Ursula Masson (1945-2008) was a much loved and highly esteemed senior lecturer in History at Glamorgan. She was also instrumental in founding Archif Menywod Cymru/Women’s Archive of Wales and its roadshows.

It is fitting, therefore, that the Memorial Lecture is given in her honour on International Women’s Day.


This year's Ursula Mason Memorial Lecture for International Women's Day will explore the modern history of women’s representation in Welsh politics and public life.

Centering on devolution and the wider context of politics and governance in Wales, Professor Laura McAllister will trace progress made since 1999 in the number of women elected to the National Assembly for Wales.

The lecture is open to everyone and is free to attend. It will be followed by a drinks reception and the opening of the award-winning Forty Voices, Forty Years exhibition.

The 40 Voices, 40 Years project, created by USW's George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling and Welsh Women’s Aid,  profiles the memories and stories from women who have been responsible for placing domestic abuse and all forms of violence against women on the public, political, and social agendas. 

It includes a collection of 40 oral histories in the form of digital stories and an exhibition of photos and objects from the movement’s past.

Please use the link to book your place.

Previous lectures

  • Dr Rhian Davies: A refined and beautiful talent’: Thoughts on the centenary of the death of Morfydd Owen (1891–1918)
  • The 10th anniversary Ursula Masson Memorial lecture, which also marked 100 years since the granting of partial suffrage to women, was held at the Senedd in partnership with the Welsh Government and Archif Menywod Cymru/Women’s Archive of Wales as part of a day of celebratory events. The lecture was delivered by Dr Ryland Wallace and entitled ‘The women’s suffrage movement in Wales’. It was accompanied by performances by Welsh National Opera’s Rhondda Rips it Up!  (2018). Read a report on the Day Event.
  • Dr Sian Rhiannon Williams: Delicate and troublous questions: women teachers, gender issues and local education politics in south Wales, 1908-1928 (2017)
  • Dr Kirsti Bohata: ‘Industrial Fiction by Women Writers in Wales, 1880-1914’ (2016)
  • Neil Evans: We are a Happy Company: The Culture of Women’s Movements in Wales (2015)
  • Prof Katie Gramich: The Soldier’s Return (2014)
  • Prof Karen Hunt: Only Connect’: Women’s Politics and the Everyday between the Wars (2013)
  • Prof Jane Aaron: The Witch as Heroine in Welsh Gothic (2012)
  • Prof Angela John: Rhonddaworld: Lady Rhondda’s Life Story, (2011)
  • Prof June Hannam: Writing to History: Autobiographies of the first Labour Women MPs, (2010)
  • Prof Deirdre Beddoe: Women and Change in Twentieth Century Wales (2009