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Contemporary Feminists: Home

A Gumberg Library research guide

Banner image made up pf portraits of eight feminist icons

From left to right: Sandra Cisneros, Alice Walker, Kimberle Crenshaw, Cynthia Enloe, Germaine Greer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Naomi Wolf, Malala Yousafzai

–––– Introduction ––––

This guide serves to give an overview of contemporary feminism from feminist theorists of the latter half of the twentieth century to influential voices of today. This era of feminism is often referred to as third-wave and fourth-wave feminism; however, this guide uses a more broad classification as "contemporary feminists." The rise of the third wave in the 1990s challenged feminism to be more inclusive after a history of focusing on upper- and middle-class white women. As Kimberelé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality in 1989, feminism was reformed and revived to include the differing experiences of women of color, working class women, and more. Feminism continued to transform when Judith Butler's Gender Trouble debuted in 1990, challenging the very concept of gender which in turn encouraged feminists to advocate for transwomen and nongender conforming persons. Feminism continues to broaden its scope through globalization and media, influencing popular culture through music and art. 

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If at any time you need help with using Gumberg Library resources, please contact Ted Bergfelt, Humanities Librarian, via email or by phone at 412-426-5430, 8:30 am-4:30 pm ET, Monday-Friday. If he is not availableAsk Gumberg

This research guide was created by Hannah Goss, English Department Intern, November 2022