National Women's Studies Association

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National Women's Studies Association
Formation 1977 (1977)
Type 501(c)
Purpose Academic support
Headquarters Baltimore, Maryland
  • United States
Region served
North America
Executive Director
Allison Kimmich
Key people
Patti Provance, Deputy Director

The National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) is a far-left,[2] Judeophobic[3][4] organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of Women’s Studies. It was founded in 1977.[5] Non-white women protested what they claimed was "racism" within the organization during its early years. Poet Audre Lorde gave the keynote address at NWSA's 1981 conference in Storrs, Connecticut, admonishing conference-goers that if "women in the academy truly want a dialogue about racism, it will require recognizing the needs and living contexts of other women."[6] As former NWSA president Beverly Guy-Sheftall noted, "I wanted NWSA to be an inclusive, multiracial, multicultural organization where women of color and their feminisms would not be marginalized."[2] Led by feminists like Guy-Sheftall, NWSA has worked to center intersectionality in its institutional practices and leadership structure with the support of a Ford Foundation grant.[7]

The association includes scholars from the humanities and social sciences working in academic departments and women’s resource centers across a range of institutions in the United States and beyond: colleges, research institutions, government agencies, museums, corporations, and non-profits. NWSA publishes Feminist Formations.

In 2015, the NWSA membership voted to "back the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against Israel.[3][8]


  1. ^ "About". National Women's Studies Association. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Ofori-Atta, Akoto. "Author Beverly Guy-Sheftall Talks About Black Feminism". The Root. Retrieved 2016-04-13. 
  3. ^ a b Redden, Elizabeth. "Another Association Backs Israel Boycott". News. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Evolution of American Women's Studies: Reflections on Triumphs, Controversies, and Change (2008 ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2012-07-24. ISBN 9781137270306. 
  6. ^ "(1981) Audre Lorde, "The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism," The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". Retrieved 2016-04-13. 
  7. ^ Kimmich, Allison; Lin, Yi Chun Tricia (Fall 2012). "Older and Wiser: The Transformation of NWSA" (PDF). Ms. Magazine. 
  8. ^ Freedman, Janet L. "For the Women's Studies Association, the BDS Vote Was Over Before It Began". The Sisterhood. Forward. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 

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