Electric Women: The Techno-Feminist Modernism of the Electrical Association for Women


ACLS Fellowship Program


Architecture, Planning and Preservation


This book project charts a nexus of feminism, technology, aesthetics, and energy history in the endeavors of the Electrical Association for Women (EAW) in interwar Britain. Through education programs, publications, exhibitions, and political activism, the EAW coalesced industrial knowledge, modern design, and technical training in electricity to promote women’s autonomy and professional opportunity. This drive towards female technical expertise unfolded at a range of scales: from home appliances, to architecture and interior design, to grid distribution systems. While the EAW sought to shape women into experts on domestic electricity, it also advanced a feminist framework to engage in the period’s debates over how to administer regional and global energy infrastructures upon which domestic electricity relied. "Electric Women" casts the imaginary of female emancipation through electrification as a means of interpreting relations between women’s labor, the design of domestic space, and the political economy of energy management, thereby presenting a techno-feminist framing for the history of the built environment.