Nine speakers to take to the stage on Thursday 21 June at Royal Geographical Society
Women’s Adventure Expo has now revealed the full line-up for its Heritage of Women in Exploration event to be held at the Royal Geographical Society on Thursday 21st June. A total of 11 women will take to the stage providing different snapshots of female explorers over time. Chairing duties will be shared by Honor Wilson-Fletcher MBE and Shane Winser, who will also be giving the welcome address.
Dr Sarah Evans and Catherine Edsell kick off session one, and session two sees Jacki Hill-Murphy and Jo Bradshaw regaling the audience with their talks. The afternoon event is also split into two parts with Dr Kate Strasdin, Rosemary Brown, Dr Alicia Colson, Penelope Foreman and Dr Vanessa Heggie in the spotlight. The keynote speech will be given by academic Dr Sarah Evans, based on her PhD research ‘Mapping out terra incognita: women and the Royal Geographical Society’ and will explore women’s involvement and relationships with the RGS, focusing on women’s participation in RGS supported expeditions between 1913 and 1970.
Well known travel journalist Rosemary Brown will be taking a look at the infamous Nellie Bly, who, in her time, was a true ground breaker in conducting adventures all over the world racing through a ‘man’s world’ — alone and literally with the clothes on her back — to beat the fictional record set by Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days. She won the race on 25 January 1890 and became a global celebrity. Rosemary has followed in her footsteps travelling alone with one small case covering around 22,000 miles. Junko Tabei is the subject of Jo Bradshaw’s inspiring talk, walking the audience through the first 36 years of Junko’s incredible life from her poorly start in 1939 to being the first woman to stand on the top of Everest in 1975. She was a pioneer, a motivator, a mountaineer, a teacher, a mother and so much more and is now considered to be a historical figure of significance.
Over lunchtime delegates will be able to visit a specially curated display, put together by Dr Sarah Evans and linked to her opening keynote on women and Royal Geographical Society-supported expeditions. The RGS-IBG Collections are home to over 2 million items, including approximately a million sheets of maps and atlases; the Picture Library’s hundreds of photographs, paintings, lantern slides and other images; shelves upon shelves of printed books and periodicals; extensive unpublished archives charting the history of the Society, of geography, and of exploration; and a unique collection of artefacts linked to famous expeditions and from around the world.
The display will illustrate and explore women’s participation in these expeditions in the early to mid-twentieth century, helping delegates to find out more about some of these indomitable women and the expeditions they led and took part in. It will draw on items from across the Society’s extensive holdings, featuring well-known treasures such as Gertrude Bell’s theodolite, maps, and notebooks, and Freya Stark’s photography. It will also highlight more rarely seen riches like Evelyn Cheesman’s beautiful watercolours of the south Pacific, painted over the course of her several expeditions there, Elinor Gardner’s letters home from expedition, and much more.
You can book tickets for the Heritage event here: