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Suffragette Hunger Strikes and Their Legacies

Miller, Ian (2015) Suffragette Hunger Strikes and Their Legacies. In: Suffragette Legacy: How Does the History of Feminism Inspire Current Thinking in Manchester. Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 73-91. ISBN 978-1443880336 [Book section]

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The militant suffragette campaign signalled the introduction of group hunger striking as a technique of political protest in prisons. It left an important historical legacy.3 Similarly, the introduction of force feeding in 1909 to tackle food refusal made an enduring impact on how prison staff managed hunger strikes. Indeed, the ethical questions on force feeding first invoked by militant suffragists and their sympathisers remain mostly unresolved. The distressing descriptions provided by twenty-first century Guantánamo Bay internees almost identically mirror historical renderings penned by militant suffragettes. In what ways, then, can responses to force feeding at Guantánamo be seen as an echo of similar protests voiced by English suffragettes a century ago? What legacies did imprisoned suffragettes create by demonstrating the efficacy of food refusal as protest? And can the prison experiences of Manchester’s suffragettes inform present-day ethical debates on hunger strike management?

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:history of force-feeding, suffragette hunger strikes, Manchester suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst hunger strike, history of hunger strikes
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts > School of English and History
Faculty of Arts
Research Institutes and Groups:Arts and Humanities Research Institute > History
Arts and Humanities Research Institute
ID Code:32352
Deposited By: Dr Ian Miller
Deposited On:29 Sep 2015 07:09
Last Modified:01 Nov 2016 20:56

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