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Feminist Studies features cutting-edge research and criticism covering issues of interest to feminist scholars across disciplines. It is known for theoretically sophisticated essays that advance interdisciplinary conversations regarding women and/or gender. Feminist Studies also publishes creative writing (poetry, fiction, and memoirs), art work and art essays, book review essays, political and social commentaries, interviews, and activist reports.
Recent special issues have included Chicana Studies; Women and Prison; Women’s Work, Social Class, and Socialism; Sexuality, Sexual Violence, and Sexual Identities; Culture and History in the New South Africa; the Body and Healthcare; Rethinking the Global; and Conjugality and Sexual Economies in India. Upcoming special issues will include Race and Transgender Studies and Institutional Practices of Women’s Studies.
In the late 1960s, academic courses on women's history, women's issues, and women writers used only empirical approaches. "The beginning of an organized effort at feminist literary criticism in America dates from the formation, in 1970, of the Modern Language Association Commission on the Status of Women. This commission established contacts with feminists on university faculties, and published their essays and research papers in its review Female Studies.... [O]ther reviews have ... been published, enabling feminist literary critics to compare their ideas.... [Among them was] Feminist Studies ....
Feminist Studies was founded in 1972 in New York City by feminist academics and activists who were committed to creating a scholarly journal with high standards and community relevance. This feminist network believed that the women’s movement needed an analytic forum to engage the issues raised by the movement and to bring together the contributions of feminist activists and scholars. Dr. Claire Moses was the journal’s editorial director for over three decades, running it alongside a collective of scholars in multiple disciplines and locations. The journal continues to be edited by a collective, with Dr. Ashwini Tambe now at its helm.