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The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies

Editors: Bobel, C., Winkler, I., Fahs, B., Hasson, K.A., Kissling, E.A., Roberts, T.-A. (Eds.)

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  • Field-defining handbook which provides a comprehensive and carefully curated view of the state of the field of Critical Menstruation Studies, whilst also pointing toward new directions in research and advocacy
  • Readers will gain a deep understanding of the depth and breadth of the best of the extant literature as well as iterative questions pertinent to the field
  • Multi-disciplinary, genre-spanning and critical examination of the cultural, psychological, political and social aspects of menstruation
  • An invaluable resource for researchers across fields, policy makers, practitioners, and activists alike
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Buy this book

  • ISBN 978-981-15-0614-7
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
Softcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
About this book

This open access handbook, the first of its kind, provides a comprehensive and carefully curated multidisciplinary and 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.

About the authors

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.


“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)

“This is surely a very important contribution to women’s health—for women, their providers, and researchers. This is a real landmark in a sorely neglected area.” (Emily Martin, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, New York University, Author of The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction)
“Sometimes the things we don’t talk about are the most important. The Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies is a great leap forward. It breaks the silence and starts not just one conversation, but many. And because it amplifies the voices of some of the most marginalized menstruators and highlights multiple diverse perspectives, it will be of interest to activists and academics alike.” (Cynthia Pearson, Executive Director, National Women’s Health Network)
“Academic research that places menstruation at the intersection of key development issues is urgent and overdue. It can and should inform public policies and programmes designed to challenge gender-based discrimination related to menstruation everywhere—from schools to the workplace.” (Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women)

Table of contents (72 chapters)

Table of contents (72 chapters)
  • Introduction: Menstruation as Lens—Menstruation as Opportunity

    Pages 1-6

    Bobel, Chris

  • Introduction: Menstruation as Fundamental

    Pages 9-13

    Winkler, Inga T.

  • Bleeding in Public? Rethinking Narratives of Menstrual Management from Delhi’s Slums

    Pages 15-30

    McCarthy, Annie (et al.)

  • The Realities of Period Poverty: How Homelessness Shapes Women’s Lived Experiences of Menstruation

    Pages 31-47

    Vora, Shailini

  • Opinion: Prisons that Withhold Menstrual Pads Humiliate Women and Violate Basic Rights

    Pages 49-51

    Bozelko, Chandra

Buy this book

  • ISBN 978-981-15-0614-7
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
Softcover $59.99
price for USA in USD

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies
  • Chris Bobel
  • Inga Winkler
  • Breanne Fahs
  • Katie Ann Hasson
  • Elizabeth Arveda Kissling
  • Tomi-Ann Roberts
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
Hardcover ISBN
Softcover ISBN
Edition Number
Number of Pages
L, 1037
Number of Illustrations
15 b/w illustrations, 33 illustrations in colour