The Missing Waves of Feminism

NWHM's 25th Anniversary Symposium Series

The National Women’s History Museum is celebrating 25 years of service and dedication to amplifying women’s distinct contributions to the nation’s history both past and present by hosting a four-part virtual symposium series, “The Missing Waves of Feminism.” “The Missing Waves” will examine the “lost eras” of the traditionally recognized canons of the four waves of feminism, including examples of early activism, the roles of minority women, and the impact of social movements that continued to progress for women’s rights even as the nation’s attention was turned to wars, pandemics, and internal disputes.

Highlighting barrier-breaking women, scholars, and activists whose work centers around citizenship, equity, voter suppression, equal pay, and social justice, the panelists, too, will represent a diverse array of disciplines and cultural studies. “The Missing Waves of Feminism” is produced in complement to the NWHM’s newest four-part virtual exhibit series to be published throughout the current year, titled Feminism: The Four Waves. Our first exhibit in the series, Feminism: The First Wave, is available here in English and Spanish; the second exhibit in the series, Feminism: The Second Wave, is also available in English and Spanish.

Using a virtual platform, this eye-opening symposium series will connect audiences with presenters whose intellect and talents demonstrate women’s backbone, ingenuity, and forward thinking from the late 18th century to the start of this new decade in the 21st century. NWHM Charter Members have the special opportunity to meet virtually with select speakers prior to the public talks.


Future Programs:

September 26, 2021
The Missing Waves of Feminism Symposium Series: The Third Wave

December 12, 2021
The Missing Waves of Feminism Symposium Series: The Fourth Wave


The Missing Waves of Feminism Symposium Series: The First Wave

On April 11, NWHM hosted a distinguished panel of barrier-breaking women, scholars, and activists for a discussion about early activism, the roles of minority women, and the impact of social movements in the First Wave era of feminism. The panel, moderated by Dr. Michele Bratcher Goodwin, included Michelle Duster, Dr. Martha Jones, and Dr. Lisa Tetrault.


On June 13, NWHM hosted a distinguished panel of barrier-breaking scholars to re-examine the origins, context, and chronology of the “second wave” of feminism with a robust discussion that considers why a wave theory that excludes the less examined period of 1920-1960 is problematic, and shine sunlight on the consequences of this erasure. Moderated by Dr. Michele B. Goodwin, Chancellor's Professor of Law, the University of California at Irvine, panelists included Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall; Founding Director, Women's Research and Resource Center; Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies; Spelman College; Dr. Catherine J. Lavender, Director, Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program; Director, Bertha Harris Women's Center; Associate Professor of History; The College of Staten Island/CUNY; and Dr. Laura L. Lovett, Associate Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh.