Dead Ladies Show New York Edition #1

The very first NYC edition brings you not just your usual three ladies, but an extra bonus lady as well! These incredible women include a radical Catholic, a history-making dressmaker, a forward-thinking chemist, and a codebreaker extraordinaire. Presented by marketing maven MARY KATE SKEHAN, fashion guru CANDACE MUNROE, doctor and performer CHIOMA MADUBATA, and your host, MOLLY O’LAUGHLIN. Join us as we toast these groundbreaking women at the KGB Bar on Wednesday, 5 September, at 7pm.

Free admission; please buy a drink or two to ensure the future of DLS NYC at KGB.

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Dorothy Day

DOROTHY DAY was a journalist, social activist, and political radical in New York in the 20th century. During the Great Depression, she founded the Catholic Worker Movement, a pacifist and social justice movement comprised of direct aid for the poor and nonviolent political action on their behalf. The Catholic Worker Movement continues to be active throughout the world. Day is a candidate for sainthood in the Catholic Church.

Ann Lowe

ANN LOWE dressed pirate queens, American royalty, and silver screen starlets during her career that spanned over 50 years. Born in the South, to a long line of dressmakers, she took over the family business at the age of 16 by designing a gown for the Governor of Alabama’s wife. She worked her way from Alabama to a studio on Madison Avenue. Her work is featured in museums around the country, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and CUlture adn the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Rosalind Franklin

ROSALIND FRANKLIN’s research helped elucidate the structure of DNA, the molecule that determines the growth, development, and reproduction of all living things. She was a chemist and an expert in X-ray crystallography whose results were essential in Watson & Crick’s final model of DNA—but her data were shared with them without her knowledge, much less consent. Franklin also studied viruses, visualizing the first viral atomic structures and studying the structure of polio. At age 38, she died of ovarian cancer, possibly due to her long work with X-rays. During her lifetime, fellow scientists recognized her valuable work on coal structures and viruses. However, her essential work on DNA has only recently been recognized.

Elizebeth Smith Friedman

Through the course of ELIZEBETH SMITH FRIEDMAN’s lifetime, she went from being a Quaker schoolteacher in Indiana to being a master cryptanalyst whose work laid the foundations for the NSA. She went up against Shakespeare conspiracy theorists, rumrunners, and even J. Edgar Hoover. Her work in World War II helped prevent the Nazis from taking over South America, but nearly all of it was a national secret until after her death.

Podcast #12: Anne Lister

The last in our first season, produced and presented in August 2018 by Susan Stone.

Co-host Katy Derbyshire gives us the low-down on the early-19th-century lesbian diarist and traveller Anne Lister, a dead lady who is having a bit of a moment right now.

Also available on Soundcloud, iTunes, RadioPublic, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and A Cast. Try this link if you have an Android device!

Show notes:

Here’s the new plaque that Susan and Florian talk about:

plaque

And here’s Anne in those two rather different portrayals:

Pages from the famous diary:

Diary

And the inside of the house:

Inside the house

You can read all about Anne in the new biography by Angela Steidele. In German, it’s called Anne Lister. Eine erotische Biographie and in English (in Katy’s translation) Gentleman Jack – out on 1 November. And both of them have gorgeous covers:

Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.

Thanks for listening! We’ll be back in October after a short break, raring to go for our next series.

Dead Ladies Show #18

Show number 18 brings you another three pioneering movers and shakers, women who forged paths, saved lives, and changed history: a ground-breaking scientist, a feminist activist, and a film icon. Brought to you by professor and migrant mothering expert Agata Lisiak, award-winning language-juggling poet Uljana Wolf, and regular Florian Duijsens. All held together, of course, by your beloved co-host Katy Derbyshire. Raise a glass of something cool with us – as we celebrate three women who altered the way we see the world in the ACUD Studio on Tuesday, 11 September at 8 pm.

Presented in a messy mixture of English and German. €5 or €3 reduced entry. Still generously supported by the Berliner Senat. Doors open 7:30 pm – come on time to get a good seat and a good drink!

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Marie Curie in her laboratory
MARIE SKŁODOWSKA CURIE is the only woman to win Nobel Prizes in two different sciences: physics and chemistry. She started her training at a clandestine university in her native Poland before moving to Paris. For her marriage to Pierre Curie, she wore a dark blue outfit that she later used in their laboratory, a converted shed. Exposed to the elements – both cold weather and uranium – she carried out pioneering research on radioactivity. In fact, she literally invented the word, and also discovered polonium and radium. Her mobile X-ray units were used to treat over a million soldiers in WWI. Her death was probably caused by long-term exposure to radiation. Despite her achievements, Marie Curie was unpopular in France, and she turned down a Legion of Honour award. Still, Paris more recently named a Metro station and a research centre after her, put her on a banknote, and turned her former lab into a museum.

bertha-Pappenheim

BERTHA PAPPENHEIM was an Austrian-Jewish feminist who founded the Jüdischer Frauenbund in Germany and set up many charitable institutions for Jewish women and children, providing “protection for those needing protection and education for those needing education.” While being treated for “hysteria” as a young woman, she invented free association (and was immortalized as Freud’s “Anna O.”); her doctor made her worse rather than better and she later refused psychoanalytic treatment for anyone in her care. She worked against trafficking of women, speaking out about Jewish women’s position: “Under Jewish law a woman is not an individual, not a personality; she is only judged and assessed as a sexual being.” In 1934 she brought a group of orphanage children safely from Germany to the UK. Bertha Pappenheim wrote poetry, plays, novellas, and translations, including of Mary Wollstonecraft.

Annamaywongnew
ANNA MAY WONG is considered the first Chinese-American Hollywood star. Born and raised in California, she began acting at 14, then left high school to go into silent movies. Soon tiring of all the interesting Asian parts going to white actors, while she played stereotyped roles – “Lotus Flower”, “Honky-Tonk Girl”, “Tiger Lily”, “Mongolian Slave”, “A Flower of the Orient”, etc. – Anna May left for Europe in 1928. Greeted as a star in Berlin, she at least got to play women who didn’t die as part of the plot. She made friends with Marlene Dietrich (and Leni Riefenstahl) and gave a revealing interview to Walter Benjamin. After her triumphant return to the States, Anna May Wong finally got leading Hollywood roles – but by far not all the ones she wanted, with racism continuing to affect her career and her private life. Kino Arsenal recently screened a retrospective, and prizes in her name are awarded for excellence in film and in fashion design.

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Pics from Show #17

A few highlights from our June show, including Isabel Cole and Binnur Çavuşlu, Bettina von Arnim, Halide Edip Adıvar, Anne Lister, and some of our gorgeous guests from the audience. Thanks to Rosalie Delaney for the photos.

Podcast #11: Lotte Reiniger

A lovely new podcast, produced in July 2018 by Susan Stone, and presented by Katy Derbyshire and Florian Duijsens.

Our podcast producer Susan Stone tells the story of Lotte Reiniger, a true pioneer of animation (and psaligraphy!). At the end, Dead Ladies Show co-founders/hosts Katy and Florian chat with Susan about exciting developments and podcasts.

Also available on Soundcloud, iTunes, RadioPublic, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and A Cast. And if you have an Android device, this link should do it too!

Show notes:

Here’s Lotte, cutting up a storm.

Lotte_Reiniger_1922

Her first animated work was called Das Ornament des verliebten Herzens [The ornament of the heart in love] (1919).

ornament

This is the Tricktisch she developed, and that’s Carl there at the top, working the camera.

Lotte_Reiniger,_Carl_Koch,_Walter_Türck,_Alexander_Kardan

Lotte reveals the Marquise’s secret.

These are some highlights from The Adventures of Prince Ahmed (1926), replete with flying horse, evil magician, and beautiful helpless harem girls.

Lotte in her studio in the Abbey Arts Centre, London, still cutting up a storm.

Lotte_Reiniger_Atelier_Abbey_Arts_Centre

Lotte remade her German fairytale series for British and US audiences, including the gorgeous Thumbelina below in 1955. She stopped animating in the 1960s after Carl’s death, but returned to her work in 1975, creating three more films before her death.

If you want to know more about Lotte, start with Lotte Reiniger: Pioneer of Film Animation by Whitney Grace, check out that Google doodle, and you can buy a DVD copy of The Adventures of Prince Ahmed here. As for her admirers, check out the trailer for Michel Ocelot’s Tales of the Night, and definitely watch Rebecca Sugar’s Steven Universe, a gorgeous TV show that paid tribute Lotte in their episode “The Answer”.

Steven_Universe_-_The_Answer

Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.

Thanks for listening! Check back in September for our next episode.

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Podcast #10: Mary Kingsley & Halide Edip Adivar

A lovely new podcast, produced and presented in June 2018 by Susan Stone.

Our co-host Florian Duijsens gives us the low-down on intrepid Victorian explorer and ichthyologist Mary Kingsley. Plus special guest Binnur Çavuşlu on Turkish writer and activist Halide Edip Adivar.

Also available on Soundcloud, iTunes, RadioPublic, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and A Cast. Android users can click here.

Show notes:

Here’s where we recorded the show…

Piano

And here’s Mary Kingsley looking lovely and comfortable.

One of Mary’s fish

kingsleyfish

Gratuitous Victorian hippo content

Adhela_and_Guy_Fawkes_1873

To find out more, you might like to start with Mary Kingsley’s little book about hippos, A Hippo Banquet, and then move on to Dea Birkett’s biography, Mary Kingsley, Imperial Adventuress, or the book One Dry Season by Caroline Alexander. 

Now here are a couple of images of Halide Edip Adivar, including the surviving bust.

You can read more about Halide in German, written and illustrated by Binnur herself, at Renk magazine. Part one of Binnur’s series on Turkish heroines is also available in English – hooray!

Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.

Thanks for listening! Check back in July for our next episode.

Dead Ladies Show #17

For our 17th show, we have three impressive women writers to tell you about, all of whom did something else on the side: a Berlin salonnière, a political activist, and a fanatical journal-keeper and traveller. Brought to you by award-winning writer and translator Isabel Cole, globetrotting journalist Binnur Cavuslu, and regular Katy Derbyshire. All held together, of course, by your beloved co-host Florian. Expect surprises, shocks, inspiration, dedication, and perspiration – as we celebrate three women who lived totally different but equally impressive lives at the ACUD Studio on Monday, 11 June at 8 pm.

Presented in a messy mixture of English and German. €5, or €3 reduced entry. Now generously supported by the Berliner Senat. Doors open 7:30 pm – come on time to get a good seat and a good drink!

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447px-Bettina-von-arnim-grimm
BETTINA VON ARNIM was a countess with a famous brother and a famous husband, but let’s not hold that against her. She fought the tyranny of conventions from an early age, falling out with Goethe and later writing a book of their fake “correspondence.” She composed songs, published dissident writing and also genuine correspondence, and hosted all the Romantic dudes at her salon. Presumably after her seven children went to bed. Bettina used to have her face on a banknote and once had a short-lived settlement in Texas named after her. Now there’s an ambition.

halide-edip-adivar

HALIDE EDIP ADIVAR was a novelist, women’s rights campaigner, and activist alongside Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Her novels broke boundaries in Turkish literature, presenting a new type of woman with a mind of her own. She helped set up Turkey’s first feminist organization and gain women the right to divorce – and then she went ahead and left her first husband while she was at it. After a falling-out with the nationalists, she taught at universities in New York, Delhi, and Istanbul. Halide rather outdoes Bettina in death, what with having a crater on Venus in her name.

Portrait-of-Anne-Lister

ANNE LISTER was a philandering lesbian and writer of 24 volumes of diaries in pre-Victorian Yorkshire. She wooed and bedded various upper-class ladies in search of true love, or at least a wife who could keep her in comfort. She went against sartorial convention, too, wearing only black except when in the presence of royalty. Anne was a very adventurous traveller, fond of climbing mountains and attending balls in out-of-the-way places. Her travels took her all the way across Europe and along the frozen Volga to Tbilisi – in a carriage with a broken window. She has a mountain pass in the Pyrenees named after her, which is better than nothing.

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Podcast #9: Käthe Paulus

Our latest podcast, produced and presented in May 2018 by Susan Stone.

Listen to the now-familiar tones of co-host Katy Derbyshire telling you all about a dead Berliner, Germany’s first lady balloonist and parachutist Kaethe Paulus. Plus our other host, Florian Duijsens, with some bodacious book tips.

Also available on Soundcloud, iTunes, RadioPublic, and other podcast purveyors. Android users can click here.

Show notes:

Here’s Kaethe Paulus doing her audacious thing.

KP

Here’s one of the streets named after her, out near Berlin’s one-day future airport.

Street

And here’s Kaethe’s baby-daddy, balloonist and lady’s man Hermann Lattemann. For sideburn fans.

HL

And here’s Kaethe with one of her more outlandish flying contraptions.

Bat

Plus a couple of links to Florian’s book recommendations: Here’s the interview he mentions about the reissue of Elsa Lanchester, Herself, which also led him to reading the memoirs of Tallulah Bankhead, Ann Miller’s Miller’s High Life, and Shelley Winters. The excerpt is from the latter’s second memoir, Shelley II.

Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.

Thanks for listening! Check back in June for our next episode.

Podcast #8: Theda Bara

Our latest podcast, produced and presented in April 2018 by Susan Stone.

This time it’s Berlin/Dublin journalist Alix Berber on the original Hollywood vamp Theda Bara. Plus a new short feature highlighting a lovely live lady, singer Pauline Black.

Also available on Soundcloud, iTunes, RadioPublic, and other podcast purveyors. Android users can click here.

Show notes:

Here’s Alix at the show, with Theda Bara in the background.

DLS13 (3 of 8)

A selection of Theda-themed merchandise and posters from back in the day.

Theda in that bra.

Bara bra

Watch the surviving Cleopatra material.

Read a less than complimentary NYT review.

And admire the costumes she passed on to a neighbour’s daughter.

Plus some Pauline Black stuff… Follow Pauline on Facebook… Read her autobiography, Black by Design… Watch The Selecter in 1979And in 2017… 

And here’s a photo of Susan’s and Katy’s shoes to finish off.

Shoes

We’ve used music by Lorin Sklamberger and Los Sundayers in this show. Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon.

Thanks for listening! Check back in May for our next episode.

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