Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL: 19th Century Superheroine: Sarah Parker Remond

18 March 2022, 6:30 pm–8:15 pm

Photo of Sarah Parker Remond

Harriet Tubman and Mary Seacole are icons but SPR's amazing story is little known. Traveller, abolitionist, lecturer, nurse, doctor and more

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sarah Parker Remond Centre / Black History Walks

This is an online event. Zoom link will be sent by Black History Walks 30 minutes before the start.

Please follow this FAQ link for information on Accessibility, Tickets and Copyrights.

This event is organised by Black History Walks in collaboration with UCL's Sarah Parker Remond Centre

Sarah Parker Remond (1826-1894) was an African American activist who became well known on her international abolitionist tours for her fiery speeches.

A Nubian Jak Plaque will be unveiled in her honour, on Friday 25th March, 12pm near Russell Square. More information here: Sarah Parker Remond plaque unveiling

In 1853 she took successful legal action against a local theatre campaigning for desegregation long before the US Civil War or the Civil Rights movement. In 1858 she undertook the challenging journey, as a single black woman, to the United Kingdom and gave numerous anti -racist lectures to packed houses across England, Scotland and Ireland.

She studied at Bedford College, which later became Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, and then studied at what is now University College London. She lived around the corner from where Mary Seacole, a contemporary, wrote her first book. Sarah was also involved in British women's campaign to vote.

Sarah Parker Remond later moved to Florence, Italy, where she became a doctor at one of Europe's most prestigious medical schools and qualified as an obstetrician.

Her language skills enabled her to join elite groups in Florence and Rome, where she hosted fellow abolitionist Frederick Douglass and lived next to the famed black female sculptor Edmonia Lewis. She also befriended the famous Italian nationalist Giuseppe Mazzini.

Sarah Parker Remond's popularity, philanthropy, prominence and professional achievements are little known today. This lecture by Professor Sirpa Salenius, author of An Abolitionist Abroad: Sarah Parker Remond in Cosmopolitan Europe (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016), will lay out the context and extent of her success. Plus Q&A.

Sirpa Salenius
About the Speaker:

Professor Sirpa Salenius lectures at the School of Humanities, Foreign Languages and Translation Studies at the University of Eastern Finland. Her interests in English language and culture centre on American literature and culture as well as transatlantic studies. Her research focuses on issues related to race, gender, and sexuality, from the nineteenth century to the present . She has lived and worked in France, Japan, Italy, the USA and Finland. She is the author of An Abolitionist Abroad: Sarah Parker Remond in Cosmopolitan Europe (University of Massachusetts Press, 2016)


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