The feminist thinkers in this collection are the designated "fifty-one key feminist thinkers," historical and contemporary, and also the authors of the entries. Collected here are fifty-one key thinkers and fifty-one authors, recognizing that women are fifty-one percent of the population. There are actually one hundred and two thinkers collected in these pages, as each author is a feminist thinker, too: scholars, writers, poets, and activists, well-established and emerging, old and young and in-between. These feminists speak the languages of art, politics, literature, education, classics, gender studies, film, queer theory, global affairs, political theory, science fiction, African American studies, sociology, American studies, geography, history, philosophy, poetry, and psychoanalysis. Speaking in all these diverse tongues, conversations made possible by feminist thinking are introduced and engaged. 

Key figures include:

  • Simone de Beauvoir
  • Doris Lessing
  • Toni Morrison
  • Cindy Sherman
  • Octavia Butler
  • Marina Warner
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Chantal Akerman
  • Betty Friedan
  • Audre Lorde
  • Margaret Fuller
  • Sappho
  • Adrienne Rich

Each entry is supported by a list of the thinker’s major works, along with further reading suggestions. An ideal resource for students and academics alike, this text will appeal to all those interested in the fields of gender studies, women’s studies and women’s history and politics.

chapter 1|4 pages

Abigail Adams (1744–1818)

ByPatricia Moynagh

chapter 2|5 pages

Chantal Akerman (1950–2015)

ByLori Marso

chapter 3|6 pages

Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa (1942–2004)

ByAnaLouise Keating

chapter 4|5 pages

Mary Astell (1666–1731)

ByPatricia Springborg

chapter 5|5 pages

Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986)

ByLori Marso

chapter 6|5 pages

Judith Butler (1956–)

ByBirgit Schippers

chapter 7|5 pages

Octavia E. Butler (1947–2006)

Byadrienne maree brown, Ayana A. H. Jamieson

chapter 8|5 pages

Rachel Carson (1907–1964)

ByLynda Walsh

chapter 9|5 pages

Anna Julia Cooper (1858–1964)

ByPenny Weiss

chapter 10|6 pages

Mary Daly (1928–2010)

ByKrista Ratcliffe

chapter 11|5 pages

Angela Davis (1944–)

ByLisa Guenther

chapter 12|5 pages

Christine Delphy (1941–)

ByLisa Disch

chapter 13|5 pages

Anne Fausto-Sterling (1944–)

ByEvelynn Hammonds

chapter 14|5 pages

Shulamith Firestone (1945–2012)

ByKathi Weeks

chapter 15|5 pages

Betty Friedan (1921–2006)

ByRebecca Jo Plant

chapter 16|5 pages

Margaret Fuller (1810–1850)

ByJeffrey Steele

chapter 17|5 pages

Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935)

ByCynthia J. Davis

chapter 18|6 pages

Emma Goldman (1869–1940)

ByKathy E. Ferguson

chapter 19|5 pages

Olympe de Gouges (1748–1793)

ByAriella Azoulay

chapter 20|5 pages

Donna Haraway (1944–)

ByJana Sawicki

chapter 21|6 pages

bell hooks (1952–)

ByNamulundah Florence

chapter 22|5 pages

Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960)

ByDeborah G. Plant

chapter 23|5 pages

Luce Irigaray (1930–)

ByLynne Huffer

chapter 24|6 pages

Barbara E. Johnson (1947–2009)

ByDeborah Jenson

chapter 25|4 pages

Jamaica Kincaid (1949–)

ByMarla Brettschneider

chapter 26|5 pages

Julia Kristeva (1941–)

ByFanny Söderbäck

chapter 27|5 pages

Doris Lessing (1919–2013)

ByAlice Ridout

chapter 28|5 pages

Audre Lorde (1934–1992)

ByM. Jacqui Alexander

chapter 29|6 pages

Rosa Luxemburg (1871–1919)

ByJodi Dean

chapter 30|5 pages

Catharine A. MacKinnon (1946–)

ByJudith Grant

chapter 31|5 pages

Margaret Mead (1901–1978)

ByNancy Lutkehaus

chapter 32|5 pages

Kate Millett (1934–)

ByVictoria Hesford

chapter 33|6 pages

Toni Morrison (1931–)

ByLawrie Balfour

chapter 34|5 pages

Laura Mulvey (1941–)

ByRosalind Galt

chapter 35|4 pages

Susan Moller Okin (1946–2004)

ByJoan Tronto

chapter 36|6 pages

Christine de Pizan (c. 1364–1430)

ByRenate Blumenfeld-Kosinski

chapter 37|5 pages

Adrienne Rich (1929–2012)

BySusan McCabe

chapter 38|5 pages

Nawal El Saadawi (1931–)

ByAmal Amirah

chapter 39|5 pages

Sappho (c. 630–570 bce)

ByVictoria Wohl

chapter 40|5 pages

Cindy Sherman (1954–)

ByCharlotte Eyerman

chapter 41|6 pages

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (1942–)

ByRitu Birla

chapter 42|5 pages

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902)

ByAndrea Foroughi

chapter 43|5 pages

Gertrude Stein (1874–1946)

ByBarbara Will

chapter 44|5 pages

Edith Thomas (1909–1970)

ByMichelle Chilcoat

chapter 45|5 pages

Sojourner Truth (1797–1883)

ByLaurie E. Naranch

chapter 46|5 pages

Marina Warner (1946–)

ByTorrey Shanks

chapter 47|5 pages

Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862–1931)

ByCrystal N. Feimster

chapter 48|5 pages

Monique Wittig (1935–2003)

ByLinda M. G. Zerilli

chapter 49|5 pages

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797)

ByAngela F. Maione

chapter 50|5 pages

Virginia Woolf (1882–1941)

BySusan Sellers

chapter 51|6 pages

Iris Marion Young (1949–2006)

ByMichaele Ferguson