Susan Hekman was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, in 1949. Hekman earned her Ph.D from the University of Washington in Seattle. While Hekman stayed at NIAS, she completed the first chapter of her proposed book, Subject Matters: The Evolution of the Subject in Feminist Theory. Hekman stated that, "the book will be an analysis of the major contributions to the development of the subject in feminist theory from the mid-twentieth century to the present. The first chapter, an analysis of the path-breaking work of Simone de Beauvoir, defines the themes that will be pursued in subsequent chapter. After completing this chapter, I sketched out the outline of the entire book, mapping the organization of the chapters and the theses that I will develop."