The John Stuart Mill Lecture

Friday, 24th May 2019

The John Stuart Mill Lecture
Re-reading Mill: The Subjection of Women Through a Changing Lens
Professor Anne Phillips, Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science in the Government Department at the London School of Economics

Friday, 24 May 2019
Flora Anderson Hall, 5.30pm – followed by refreshments

Tickets are free but please register your place at

John Stuart Mill’s essay on The Subjection of Women was published in 1869 to great acclaim within the British – and wider – women’s movements. It reads, at one level, as a classic text of liberal feminism, challenging the social and legal conditions that restrict women’s freedom. But it is also a radical critique of marriage and male power; and a paean to the progress of modernity, held back only by this one exception. In this lecture, Anne Phillips reflects on different ways of reading the text, shaped by the preoccupations of different periods, and lending themselves to different insights.

Anne Phillips is the Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science in the Government Department at the London School of Economics. She is a feminist political theorist, whose work has engaged with issues of democracy and representation, equality and difference, feminism and multiculturalism, and the dangers in regarding the body as property. Her publications include The Politics of Presence (1995), Which Equalities Matter? (1999), Multiculturalism without Culture (2007), Our Bodies, Whose Property? (2013), and The Politics of the Human (2015). She is currently working on a new book about equality, challenging illusions of progress that have distorted its meaning and significance. Anne was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2012, and in 2016 received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK Political Studies Association.

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