No Permanent Waves boldly enters the ongoing debates over the utility of the 'wave' metaphor for capturing the complex history of women's rights by offering fresh perspectives on the diverse movements that comprise U.S. feminism, past and present. Seventeen essays - both original and reprinted - of this title address continuities, conflicts, and transformations among women's movements in the United States from the early nineteenth century through today. In this title, a respected group of contributors from diverse generations and backgrounds argue for new chronologies, more inclusive conceptualizations of feminist agendas and participants, and fuller engagements with contestations around particular issues and practices. Race, class, and sexuality are explored within histories of women's rights and feminism as well as the cultural and intellectual currents and social and political priorities that marked movements for women's advancement and liberation. These essays question whether the concept of waves surging and receding can fully capture the complexities of U.S. feminisms and suggest models for reimagining these histories from radio waves to hip-hop.
NANCY A. HEWITT is a professor of history and women's and gender studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Her books include Women's Activism and Social Change: Rochester, New York, 1822-1872; Southern Discomfort: Women's Activism in Tampa, Florida, 1880s - 1920s; and A Companion to American Women's History.