University Women's Network

The beginning of the network

Thursday 08 March saw the advent of These Women Can! Hosted by the Learning and Teaching Academy, These Women Can! was our first university wide event to celebrate, debate and explore the challenges women face in Further Education, Higher Education and Research. The event was open to all and featured contributions from colleagues in student leadership, academic and wider professional roles. Dr Sandra Cairncross, Assistant Principal for Widening Access and Community at Edinburgh Napier University, was our keynote speaker for the day, and spoke about her experiences of setting up the Edinburgh Napier Women’s Network. A Women’s Network was identified by the participants as being something that would be welcomed at the university and so we sent out a small survey to help identify the network purpose and logistics.

The survey results

Initial feedback from the survey highlighted a genuine interest to set up a University Women’s Network to meet a few times a year,  to debate the current challenges facing women in Higher and Further Education and within our own institution and to plan initiatives to address these challenges.  The Women’s Network would also provide an opportunity to invite internal and external speakers to share their experiences in this area.

The University Women's Network Launch

Tuesday 17th July, 10:00 - 12:00 followed by a networking lunch

An Lochran Lecture Theatre and through video conference

Embodied Love and Emancipatory Possibilities: Examining Issues for Transforming Gender Inequalities

The presentation will address central epistemological and relational issues within the university and society that women face in the course of their labor as intellectuals, scholars, teachers, and activists. Toward this end, issues of the body will be critically examined with respect to gender politics and efforts to transform effectively social and material conditions in meaningful and liberating ways. A critical pedagogy of love will ground this discussion of embodied praxis, which will focus on our everyday engagements with individual concerns as well as the larger societal context.

Dr. Antonia Darder


Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership

Loyola Marymount University

Antonia Darder is a distinguished international Freirian scholar. She is a public intellectual, educator, writer, activist, and artist. She holds the Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Education at University of Johannesburg; and Professor Emerita of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. She also holds a Distinguished Visiting faculty post at the University of Johannesburg, in South Africa. Antonia is an American Educational Research Association Fellow and recipient of the AERA Scholars of Color Lifetime Contribution Award, as well as the Freire Social Justice Award. She has worked tirelessly for more than three decades to fiercely counter social and material inequalities at work in schools and communities.

Antonia’s scholarship has consistently focused on issues of racism, political economy, social justice, and education. Her work critically engages the contributions of Paulo Freire to our understanding of inequalities in schools and society. Darder’s critical theory of biculturalism links questions of culture, power, and pedagogy to social justice concerns in education. Through her decolonizing scholarship on ethics and moral issues, she articulates a critical theory of leadership for social justice and an interpretive methodology, with a focus on the empowerment of subaltern populations.

Antonia is the author of numerous books and articles in the field, including Culture and Power in the Classroom (20th Anniversary edition), Reinventing Paulo Freire: A Pedagogy of Love, A Dissident Voice: Essays on Culture, Pedagogy, and Power, Freire and Education, and,The Student Guide to Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed. She is also co-author of After Race: Racism After Multiculturalism and co-editor of The Critical Pedagogy Reader, Latinos and Education: A Critical Reader, and the International Critical Pedagogy Reader, which was awarded the 2015 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award. Through the passion of her written and spoken word and the simple beauty of her art, her work has traveled around the world, consistently calling for economic justice, human rights, and cultural democracy for all people. In 2015, Antonia was nominated for the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education.

Registering for the launch

Places we first be awarded through invitation to the network in the first instance.

Joining the University Women's Network 

If you would like to join the network then please email Alex Walker at 


Please email Alex at if you would like to share any links/resources in this space.