University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term > "Small, dark and alive” to “cripplingly shy”: a review of Dorothy Garrod’s experienceas the first woman Professor at Cambridge, in the light of recent experiences of women at Cambridge

"Small, dark and alive” to “cripplingly shy”: a review of Dorothy Garrod’s experienceas the first woman Professor at Cambridge, in the light of recent experiences of women at Cambridge

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Twenty-two years ago, as part of my Ph.D research into thegeneration and institution of prehistory at Cambridge University, I came acrossa vast store of Dorothy Garrod‘s unpublished and un-sorted material held in theBibliothèque du Musée des Antiquités Nationales outside Paris (Smith et al. Antiquity1997, Smith, P.J. Antiquity 2000). Thisdiscovery became the basis for all subsequent research on Garrod. The analysisfrom 1997 is available here.

In that early work, I detailed the appointment, in May 1939,of Garrod, as the first woman to be elected to a Professorship in eitherCambridge or Oxford; her difficulties in her pioneering role were documented. Being female, Garrod was not then a fullmember of our university. But, as professor she became eligible to serve on theCouncil of the Senate, and all members of the Council were by definitionmembers of the University. When the Electors gave their decision toVice-Chancellor Dean, the Vice-Chancellor replied “Gentlemen, you havepresented us with a problem.” This “awkward situation” waspartially resolved when QueenElizabeth was awarded an honorary degree to celebrate the right of all women totake degrees from Cambridge in 1948. Professor Garrod left Cambridge soon after.

In this paper, I will revisit and review the originalresearch and will revise, update and add a new series of interviews, re-evaluatingProfessor Garrod’s legacy as the first woman professor. A report on work with descendants of theMount Carmel Palestinian excavation team will be included.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term series.

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