Staying Connected - the NWR online conference

Dates: Mon 19 Apr 2021 00:00 to Fri 30 Apr 2021 00:00.

About the event

Following our hugely successful 2020 event, this year’s online conference offers community, content and creativity for lively minded women. Sessions are a mix of talks and panel discussions, plus the all-important quiz, presented under the banner of ‘Staying Connected’, our ultimate ambition for NWR members when so many of our face-to-face meetings have been cancelled.

Tickets for individual talks are £2.50 each for NWR members and £5 each for non-members.

Members can choose to book the whole conference for £20.

Non-members who are interested in joining NWR can take advantage of our special offer of the full conference plus a year's membership for just £40!

The programme is:

Monday 19th April - 7pm - Mark Rowland -Tracing the Tudors: The Real London of Wolf Hall

The political and personal machinations of the Tudor age were brought to life by Hilary Mantel's novels Wolf Hall and Bringing Up The Bodies and their (rightly) garlanded adaption by the BBC.

It was certainly one of the more turbulent periods in our history. Born out of the Wars of the Roses, it was a dynasty never far from conflict: the split with Rome, dissolution and creation of a new church; Mary’s vain (and bloody) attempts to restore the catholic faith; the looming threat of The Armada; and the tricky tightrope that all the leading protagonists had to walk to stay the right side of the executioner’s axe.

But it wasn't all about royalty and religion. The influx of land and money from the dissolution created systems of governance that were arguably the forerunner of the modern civil service and, amidst the turmoil, England created its own version of The Renaissance that included the birth of modern theatre in the hands of the likes of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe and the Burbages.

However, thanks to the 1666 Great Fire, physical traces of the age are hard to find in current day London. Unless, of course, you know where to look…

This is a live virtual tour where Mark will give an illustrated presentation of the tour route with an accompanying talk.


Tuesday 20th April - 6pm - Michael I. Ohajuru - How Black Lives Matter makes Black Culture Matter

How the Black Lives Matter movement has impacted the stolen African treasures on display in the V&A, the British Museum and the Wallace Collection. Michael Ohajuru is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies with honours degrees in Physics and Art History. Michael blogs, writes and speaks regularly on the black presence in Renaissance Europe and has spoken at the British Library, National Archives and the V&A on the subject. He is the founder of Image of the Black in London Galleries and is the originator and project director for The John Blanke Project. He is the co-convener of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies What’s Happening in Black British History series of workshops and is also co-convenor the Institute of Historical Research Black British History seminar programme. He lives in south London.


Wednesday 21st April - 1.30pm - Dr Jennifer Rohn - UTIs, Bacteria and Lablit

Dr Jennifer Rohn is a Principal Research Fellow and research group leader in the Division of Medicine and the Head of the Centre of Urological Biology at UCL. She is also a part-time novelist and science communicator. A lapsed American, Jenny appears occasionally on TV, radio, documentaries, podcasts, live panels and in print as a science/lit/art/culture pundit, tweets as @jennyrohn and blogs about the scientific lifestyle at Mind the Gap on Occam’s Typewriter. She is the author of three novels about scientists: Experimental Heart, The Honest Look, and Cat Zero. Her writing has appeared in places such as the BBC News, The Guardian, Nature and The Times.

She runs and edits a website called ‘Lablit’ which is dedicated to real laboratory culture and to the portrayal and perceptions of that culture – science, scientists and labs – in fiction, the media and across popular culture. It does not generally deal with the genre of science fiction, except in essays which shed light on science in popular culture or realistic science in science fiction.

Jennifer will speak to us about her work related to UTIs, bacteriology and her forays into fiction for about 40 minutes before posing some discussion questions which we can discuss in breakout rooms before returning to a Q&A session with her.


Thursday 22nd April - 1.30pm - Jeremy Holmes - Shakespeare's Lost Women

Having previously spoken to us about Ernest Shakleton and John Donne we have invited Jeremy back, this time to talk about Shakespeare. Jeremy says that a woman being lost and found (or brought back to life) is a major theme of the late plays, but there are other women in both the comedies and tragedies who go through something similar, this talk will explore what that theme is all about.


Friday 23rd April - 7pm - Bingo

A fun Friday night evening – with a year’s free NWR membership as the prize for a full house.

We will play two games and your individual ticket, which can be played on a screen or printed off, will be emailed to you and can be used for both games (obviously you will need to print it twice if you do decide to print it). You can also just copy it out if you get really stuck! I will be able to check winning tickets too – so no cheating!


Monday 26th April - 1.30pm - Sean Patterson - Charles Booth’s Victorian Clerkenwell

This live virtual tour features excerpts from the notes Charles Booth made to compile his famous 'poverty maps', as well as examples of the maps themselves. We follow the route he took to establish the living conditions of the inhabitants of one of London's most varied late Victorian neighbourhoods, and we hear from contemporary writers and commentators.

This is a virtual tour where Sean guide will give an illustrated presentation of the tour route with an accompanying talk.


Tuesday 27th April - 7pm - Debbie Lethby - Gut health and the brain

Debbie is a Registered Nutritional Therapist specialising in women's brain health in midlife. She provides personalised nutrition and lifestyle advice to women over 40.

If you are concerned about your risk of cognitive decline now or in the future, perhaps because you have experienced brain fog, poor memory, anxiety, low mood, stress or a reduction in your ability to concentrate, or maybe you have a family member that has been diagnosed with dementia, then you might be interested in attending this talk to find out more about the dietary and lifestyle choices you could adopt to support brain health and maintain healthy cognitive function.


Wednesday 28th April - 1.30pm - Dr Jacqueline Cockburn - Spanish Art Fantasy Comes from the Ghosts; Gaudi and other Catalan Architects

A talk to fit in with our annual theme country of Spain. Antoni Gaudí is well known and much loved. In this lecture, his work will be explored in detail. It will demonstrate how he engaged with nature and worked with extraordinary ceramicists, iron workers, tilers and decorative artists. We will look at his public and private buildings and his relationship with a wealthy and demanding patron. Private, shy and retiring, he was also humorous and witty in his extravagant style. However, it will also be the aim of this lecture to uncover some of the other architects working in Barcelona over the turn of the twentieth century including Domenech y Muntaner and Puig y Cadafalch. Attention will be paid to several significant and ravishing buildings and some less well-known buildings in Barcelona.

Jacqueline is Managing Director of an art tours company, running residential courses in Andalucía, in the art and culture of the region. Jacqueline is a course director and lecturer at the V&A and also lectures at The Royal Academy, Christie’s Education, The Art Fund and the London Art History Society. Her specialist field is Spanish Art, but she also lectures on European Art 1790-1950. She has recently published A Taste of Art, London (Unicorn Press 2019).


Thursday 29th April - 6pm - Dr Kat Arney - Rebel Cell: Cancer, evolution and the science of life

Many of us think of cancer as a contemporary killer, a disease of our own making caused by our modern lifestyles. But, as Kat Arney explains in this talk based on her new book Rebel Cell, that perception just isn’t true.

Although it might be rare in many species, cancer is the enemy lurking within almost every living creature. Why? Because cancer is a bug in the system of life. We get cancer because we can't not get it. Kat will speak to us about this for about 40 minutes before then posing some discussion questions which we can discuss in breakout rooms before returning to a Q&A session with her.


Friday 30th April - 7pm - Quiz

The ubiquitous end of conference quiz

I know that this is the part which many of you look forward to! The quiz will be a group quiz and, in the style of a conference dinner when the idea is to meet other members from around the country, you will be allocated to random teams. I know that some people find that rather nerve wracking but the feedback we have had from members who give it a go is that they find they actually enjoy it far more than they perhaps expected! So, I can promise a fun evening – but I can’t promise it will be easy!

Contact: Please complete our national contact form for further details.