Written By: Deborah Jordan Brooks

Edited by: Dhwani Kharel (IMHER Research Assistant)


Five facts about The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies.


(1) It is available free of charge! 

Many academic publications are buried behind paywalls that are sometimes affordable only to faculty and students in the wealthiest universities.  In this case, the UN Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) paid the (presumably considerable) fees required by the book’s publishers in order to make this an “open access” / free-to-read publication.

Tremendous kudos are also due as well to the editorial team of this volume – Chris Bobel, Inga T. Winkler, Breanne Fahs, Katie Ann Hasson, Elizabeth Arveda Kissling, and Tomi-Ann Roberts. Their hard work in bringing together such an wide-ranging group of writers to address this too-often understudied topic, is evident.

Read or download the entire book here – LINK.


(2) Find the chapters that interest you

Read the whole book cover-to-cover (which will be quite an undertaking at 1,028 pages in total!), or go straight to the particular chapters that are likely to interest you here.


(3) Each chapter takes a very different approach.

Because it is an edited volume , with each chapter written by a different author/s – and because its writers include a mix of scholars, NGO researchers, activists, and others, each using very different types of analysis – the only common thread among the chapters is their focus on menstruation.  If one chapter doesn’t happen to suit your interests, do not stop reading, because the next chapter is almost certain to be entirely different in style and content.


(4) The volume contains a number of very useful “state of the field” type pieces

With a mix of findings across some studies of a given topic – but with differences between them in methodology, geography, population, and other factors – it can be very hard to figure out what the “bottom line” findings are to date in given topics.  “State of the Field” type pieces can help to identify the dominant direction of findings, while also pointing to questions that still need more research to answer. 

This volume has several of those to note on key topics:


(5) There is far too much packed into this volume to characterize in a manner that could ever do it justice

The volume contains 72 chapters on a wide variety of different topics pertaining to menstruation, in its broadest possible conception.  And its chapters draw on a variety of different countries and regions, using the widest possible array of approaches to study each question of interest.

There is no way to accurately characterize this volume in any kind of overarching way.  It seems sufficient to say that it will be an indispensable resource to a great many working on MHH and MHM issues.