Femininity in Dissent: The Women of Armagh

Professor Azrini Wahidin will speak on Wednesday 10 June, in Nottingham Trent University, on ‘Femininity in Dissent: The Women of Armagh‘.

The lecture will take place on 10 June, in the Newton Building, from 5.30-7.30. To book your place register on the NTU website here.


During the conflict in Northern Ireland, the criminal justice system played a central and visible role in containing, managing and repressing social disorder and, hence, became associated indelibly with issues of the state.

Although much has been written about the recent political struggles in Northern Ireland, too often it has been women’s experiences which have been silenced and under explored. This lecture will chart the contours of women’s experiences of imprisonment by contextualising the history of Armagh Prison and the central role it played during the conflict in Northern Ireland.

This paper is based on the testimonies of former female ex-combatants of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). It will examine key moments in the history of the imprisonment of the Armagh women (such as the No Wash Protest and strip searching). By using these examples Azrini will examine how subjectivity, gender, the corporeal body and resistance were articulated in situations of heightened political violence. The impact of the conflict opened spaces for women to place traditional constructions of femininity in dissent. The narratives of the ex-combatants will illustrate how violence became institutionalised and operated ‘through strategies about which people seldom talk: namely the mechanisms of fear’ (Poulantzas 1978:83).

Professor Wahidin has written 13 books from leading textbooks, edited collections to single authored monographs. Her most recent publication is her book: Ex-Combatants, Gender and Peace in Northern Ireland: Women, Political Protest and the Prison Experience.


Leave a Reply