Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture



First Advisor

Professor Kelly Scheffer

Second Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Walz

Third Advisor

Dr. Trent Olsen


Heresies was a grassroots second-wave feminist publication based in New York City that produced issues from 1977-93. The publication was spearheaded by recognizable feminist artists and critics, and it designated one issue to each theme, covering topics such as The Great Goddess (1978) and Sex Issue (1981), soliciting contributions from feminist writers and artists to engage with each issue’s specific subject matter. To contextualize the environment of late stage second-wave feminism, Heresies issues were published a half-decade after feminist milestones like the Roe v. Wade decision (1973) and the Equal Rights Amendment vote (1972).

Heresies, as a critical theory-driven, self-published magazine,dissected some of the most debated aspects of second-wave feminism on its pages, led by figures critical to second-wave feminist art including Suzanne Lacy, Lucy Lippard, Harmony Hammond and others. This paper focuses particular attention on three issues of Heresies: Lesbian Art & Artists (Issue #3), On Women and Violence (#6) and Third World Women (#8), identifying means by which feminists sharing certain traits, such as sexual orientation, could assert their viewpoints as individuals by means of self-determination: serving as editors and contributors of these particular issues. By analyzing individual writers’ and artists’ contributions to these three specific issues, it becomes clear that Heresies stimulated a means of debating feminist perspectives and empowered contributors to share their individual truths.