Elisabeth Armstrong

Professor of the Study of Women & Gender; Department Chair of the Program for the Study of Women & Gender

Elisabeth Armstrong

Contact & Office Hours

Tyler Annex 204



Ph.D., M.A., Brown University

B.A., Pomona College


Elisabeth Armstrong teaches courses on gender and movements for social, economic and environmental change, emancipatory cultural studies and feminist archives. Many of her courses are community-based research courses linked to basic needs community movements around land, food and self-determination in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Her second book, Gender and Neoliberalism: The All India Democratic Women’s Association and Globalization Politics, describes the changing landscape of women’s politics for equality and liberation during the rise of neoliberalism in India between 1991 and 2006. Based on long-term ethnographic research on Tamil Nadu and Haryana, two agriculturally rich states in the south and north, this book charts the rise of an extraordinary socialist women’s organization: the All India Democratic Women’s Association.

Armstrong’s first book, The Retreat From Organization: U.S. Feminism Reconceptualized, re-examines ideologies of politics and political subjectivity in U.S. feminism from the early 1960s to the 1990s.

A winter 2016 article in Signs describes solidarity methods developed in the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) and the anti-imperialist pan-Asian women’s movement from 1942 until the mid 1960s. An ongoing research project, called Organizing Nephews and Uncles, explores the daily lives of feminist activists in India. Armstrong is an editorial board member of Kohl: Journal for Body and Gender Research in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. She is also on the executive advisory board of the journal Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism.

Selected Publications

"Before Bandung: The Anti-Imperialist Women's Movement in Asia and the Women’s International Democratic Federation,"Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 41:2 (Winter 2016): 305-332.

"Indian Peasant Women’s Activism in a Hot Cold War," in Communist Histories, vol. 1, edited by Vijay Prashad (New Delhi: Leftword Books, 2016), 176-217.

Gender and Neoliberalism: The All India Democratic Women’s Association and Globalization Politics. Routledge, 2013.

The Retreat From Organization: U.S. Feminism Reconceptualized. State University of New York Press, 2002.