Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-l
  2. Menstruation as Fundamental

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Inga T. Winkler
      Pages 9-13 Open Access
    3. Annie McCarthy, Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
      Pages 15-30 Open Access
    4. Tova Mirvis
      Pages 131-135 Open Access
    5. Deepthi Sukumar
      Pages 137-142 Open Access
    6. Alma Gottlieb
      Pages 143-162 Open Access
    7. Trisha Maharaj, Inga T. Winkler
      Pages 163-174 Open Access
  3. Menstruation as Embodied

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
    2. Tomi-Ann Roberts
      Pages 177-179 Open Access
    3. Ingrid Johnston-Robledo, Joan C. Chrisler
      Pages 181-199 Open Access

About this book


This open access handbook, the first of its kind, provides a comprehensive and carefully curated multidisciplinary genre-spanning view of the state of the field of Critical Menstruation Studies, opening up new directions in research and advocacy. It is animated by the central question: ‘“what new lines of inquiry are possible when we center our attention on menstrual health and politics across the life course?” The chapters—diverse in content, form and perspective—establish Critical Menstruation Studies as a potent lens that reveals, complicates and unpacks inequalities across biological, social, cultural and historical dimensions. This handbook is an unmatched resource for researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and activists new to and already familiar with the field as it rapidly develops and expands.


Critical Menstruation Studies gender inequality menstrual activism menstrual discourses menstruation and sexuality menstrual health menstrual justice politics of menstruation Open Access

Editors and affiliations

  • Chris Bobel
    • 1
  • Inga T. Winkler
    • 2
  • Breanne Fahs
    • 3
  • Katie Ann Hasson
    • 4
  • Elizabeth Arveda Kissling
    • 5
  • Tomi-Ann Roberts
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality StudiesUniversity of Massachusetts BostonBostonUSA
  2. 2.Institute for the Study of Human RightsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Women and Gender Studies & Social and Cultural AnalysisArizona State UniversityGlendaleUSA
  4. 4.Center for Genetics and SocietyBerkeleyUSA
  5. 5.Women’s & Gender StudiesEastern Washington UniversityCheneyUSA
  6. 6.Department of PsychologyColorado CollegeColorado SpringsUSA

About the editors

Chris Bobel is professor and chair of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her recent publications include The Managed Body: Developing Girls and Menstrual Health (2019) and Body Battlegrounds: Transgressions, Tensions and Transformations (2019).

Inga T. Winkler is a lecturer in Human Rights and director of the Working Group on Menstrual Health & Gender Justice at Columbia University. As former legal adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, she continues to work at the intersection of research and policy.

Breanne Fahs is professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University, where she specializes in studying women’s sexuality, critical embodiment studies, radical feminism, and political activism.  Her most recent projects include Burn it Down! Feminist Manifestos for the Revolution (2020), and Women, Sex, and Madness: Notes from the Edge (2019).

Katie Hasson is the program director on genetic justice at the Center for Genetics and Society, a public interest nonprofit working at the intersection of social justice and human biotechnologies.

Elizabeth Arveda Kissling is professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Eastern Washington University. Her research focuses on women’s health, bodies, and feminism in media. She is the author of From a Whisper to a Shout (2018) and Capitalizing on the Curse (2006) and numerous articles.

Tomi-Ann Roberts is professor of Psychology at Colorado College. Her research, teaching, and advocacy centers on her theory “Objectification Theory”, which examines the sexual objectification of girls and women, self-objectification, and the consequences of these for emotions and attitudes regarding menstruation and other matters of mental and reproductive health.

Bibliographic information


“This open access book is a remarkable rarity among academic publications. … The successful engagement of altern and subaltern voices in the production of the book is a genuine attempt to address Critiques … .” (Elvira Domínguez Redondo, Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. (43) 2, May, 2021)

“The volume will reach readers across the world and beyond academia, inviting a broad range of interested groups and people to consider menstruation as a topic for critical, interdisciplinary study.” (Camilla Mørk Røstvik, Social History of Medicine, December 11, 2020)

“The handbook is a celebration of, and a testament to, the creative, interdisciplinary, theoretically grounded approaches that are embraced in critical menstrual studies. It will be significant for readers interested in policy, art, fem tech, and beyond.” (Sara E. Baumann, Psychology of Women Quarterly, October 21, 2020)