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Tamsin Johnson

Design, Nottingham Trent University

Thesis title:

Searching for the New Woman in Nottingham: Cycling, Fashion and Feminism (1885-1925)

My research intersects two critical gaps within New Woman literature – the presence of the New Woman in Nottingham and lack of visual and semiotic analysis. Utilising overlooked aspects of Nottinghamshire based archives, this project dissects the impact and legacy of the New Woman to Nottingham’s cycling heritage, female workforce and redresses our understanding of Nottingham’s radical feminist history. 

The project explores the representations within visual and material culture of the New Woman between 1885 (‘New Woman’ enters popular discourse, beginnings of first-wave feminism) and 1925 (post-WW1 anxiety about working women). 

Research Area

  • Design


'Women in the Kitchen: The Performativity of Modern Living' (2021), Space International Journal of Conference Proceedings, Vol 1 (1). https://doi.org/10.51596/sijocp.v1i1.14


'Fashioning Entry: Women in the Male Sphere: 1890-1915', presented at NTU's Material and Visual Delights symposium, April 2022. 

'Women in the Kitchen: The Performativity of Modern Living', presented virtually at the International SPACE conference 'Gender, Space and Architecture', June 2021.

Public Engagement & Impact

Nov 2023: NTU's 2023 Sustainability Summit- 'Sustainable Buying Decisions: Fashion Business Application'. 
In this self-designed, self-produced, interactive workshop I guided attendants through the fashion buying-cycle, the overarching sustainability issues within the fashion industry (based off my 5+ years' experience) and how, as a buyer, your decision making influences the end product. In the activity, I produced 3 worksheets detailing a garment spec with a target cost-price and several options to get to that target cost price (some sustainable, some not). The purpose of the workshop was to get attendents thinking about how, in a commercial setting, sustainable decision making is influenced by the pressures of growth-based economics, profit and commerciality. 

Other Research Interests

Fashion theory, history of.
Design Theory and Visual Culture
Women's history


British Society of Sports History (BSSH)
NTU: Fashion and Textile Research Centre