The Project

About the Project

The Dangerous Women Project is an initiative of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh.

The Project asks: what does it mean to be a ‘dangerous woman’?

The idea that women are dangerous individually or collectively permeates many historical periods, cultures and areas of contemporary life (despite, and in some instances in response to, explicitly feminist movements).

We may take lightly the label attached by mainstream media outlets to women such as Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty, or Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as being ‘the most dangerous woman in the UK’. But behind this label lies a serious set of questions about the dynamics, conflicts, identities and power relations with which women live today.

The Dangerous Women Project curated 365 responses to those questions from all over the world between International Women’s Day 2016 and International Women’s Day 2017.

Each daily Dangerous Women Project post explores, examines or critiques the ‘dangerous women’ theme by inviting reflections from women of diverse backgrounds and identities, including poets, playwrights and other creative writers, academics, journalists, commentators, artists, performers and opinion formers, and indeed anyone with an angle on the theme. All views expressed in the Dangerous Women Project’s daily posts are therefore the views of the individual author, not of the Institute or the University.

Submissions are now closed.

If you’d like to know more about what inspired the Dangerous Women Project, you can read about its history here.

Two books collecting over 100 of our favourite contributions are available now. The Art of Being Dangerous: Exploring Women and Danger through Creative Expression, edited by Jo Shaw and Ben Fletcher-Watson, was released in May 2021 by Leuven University Press. You can order direct from the publisher here or visit your local bookshop. Dangerous Women: fifty reflections on women, power and identity, edited by Jo Shaw, Ben Fletcher-Watson and Abrisham Ahmadzadeh, was released in March 2022 by Unbound. You can order a copy here.