Louise R. Noun Chair of Women's Studies
Associate Professor and Chair
Gender, Women's, and Sexuality Studies
Astrid Henry teaches courses on feminist theory, sexuality studies, LGBTQ studies and queer theory, critical whiteness studies, pop culture, feminist memoirs, and third-wave feminism. At Grinnell College, she regularly teaches Introduction to GWSS (GWS 111), Theory and Methodology in GWSS, (GWS 249), and the Senior Seminar in GWSS (GWS 495), as well as Foundations of LGBTQ Studies (GWS 211) and Feminist Memoirs (ENG/GWS 331). Her most recent first-year Tutorial (TUT 100) was titled "Fame! A Cultural History of Celebrity."
Professor Henry is the author of Not My Mother's Sister: Generational Conflict and Third-Wave Feminism (Indiana University Press, 2004), a book which analyzes third-wave feminism and provides a theoretical framework for understanding contemporary generational conflicts as they have developed between feminism's third and second waves in the U.S. over the last two decades. Particular chapters focus on: the emergence of feminism's third wave in the 1990s and its critique of second-wave feminism; the generational relationship between feminism's second and first waves; the role of sexuality in the third wave's assertion of generational difference; queer feminism and its relationship to 1970s lesbian feminism; and the central role of feminists of color, particularly black feminists, in the development of third-wave feminism. Excerpts from Not My Mother's Sister have been reprinted in The Women's Movement Today: an Encyclopedia of Third-Wave Feminism (2006), Gender Inequality: Feminist Theories and Politics (2005; 2010), and the Chronicle of Higher Education (2004).
Professor Henry's articles on third-wave feminism and generational relationships within U.S. feminism appear in the journals Women's Studies Quarterly and PMLA, as well as in the anthologies And Finally We Meet: Intersections and Intersectionality Among Feminist Activists, Academics and Students (2012), Different Wavelengths: Studies of the Contemporary Women's Movement (2005), Reading "Sex and the City" (2003), Catching a Wave: Reclaiming Feminism for the 21st Century (2003), and Mothers and Daughters: Connection, Empowerment and Transformation (2000). Her most recent publications include the essay "Waves" in Rethinking Women's and Gender Studies (Routledge, 2012), an anthology which explores the field's foundational assumptions and provides critical genealogies of key terms within Women's and Gender Studies. You can read her interview with Rethinking Women's and Gender Studies's co-editor Catherine Orr at the book's blog. Her essay "Fashioning a Feminist Style, Or, How I Learned to Dress from Reading Feminist Theory" was recently published in Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style (SUNY Press, 2012).
Professor Henry's current scholarly projects include an essay on Scandinavian "new feminism" and articles that address the televisual representation of feminism's history on CBS's Cold Case and AMC's Mad Men. She is also working on two book-length projects: the first is a study of memoirs by U.S. feminists since the 1970s and the issue of feminist subjectivity; the second is a history of the U.S. women's movement and U.S. feminism since the 1930s, co-authored with historians Dorothy Sue Cobble and Linda Gordon (to be published by W.W. Norton in 2014).
Professor Henry received her Ph.D. from the interdisciplinary Modern Studies Concentration of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's English Department. She received an M.A. from the New School for Social Research and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. From 2006-2012, Henry served on the Governing Council of the National Women's Studies Association, holding the position of Secretary of the Association from 2009-2012.