Meredith Tax


I. Education

Birkbeck College, University of London, 1964-68: Graduate study in 17th and 18th Century English literature, all but dissertation

Brandeis University, B.A. 1964, magna cum laude, with honors in English

Milwaukee public school system, Whitefish Bay High School, 1960


II. Honors and Recognition

Meredith Tax archive in the Sally Bingham Women’s Studies Center for Women’s History and Culture, Duke Univeresity. Inaugurated by a conference, "Acting Across Borders: the Future of the Feminist 1970s: A Celebration of the Meredith Tax Papers at Duke,” April 13-14, 2012.

Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975, ed. Barbara Love, University of Illinois Press,2006.

Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution, Jewish Women’s Archive, 2005.

Voices of Feminism Oral History Project, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, 2004.

Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship

Fulbright Fellowship

Phi Beta Kappa

National Merit Scholarship

National Honor Society


III. Publications


A Road Unforeseen: Women Fight the Islamic State (New York: Bellevue Literary Press, 2016)

Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights (New York and London: Centre for Secular Space, 2013)

Editor, Night School Voices (New York: Night School Press, 2009, 2011)

Editor, with Nadezdha Azhigkhina, The Power of the Word II: Women’s Voices and the New European Order(New York and Moscow: Women’s WORLD, 2000); translated into Russian and Serbo-Croatian

The Power of the Word: Culture, Censorship, and Voice (New Delhi: Women's WORLD, 1995); translated into Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and ten Indian languages; reprinted in Jael Silliman and Ynestra King, eds., Dangerous Intersections: Feminist Perspectives on Population, Environment, and Development (Boston: South End Press, 1999)

Union Square (New York: William Morrow, 1988; London: Virago, 1990 [under the title Passionate Women]; New York: Avon, 1990; University of Illinois Press, 2001)

Rivington Street (New York: William Morrow, 1982; New York: Jove, 1983; London: Heineman, 1983; New York: Avon, 1990; University of Illinois Press, 2001)

Families, illustrated by Marilyn Hafner (Boston: Atlantic–Little Brown, 1981; New York: The Feminist Press, 1996; Familias Spanish translation], New York: The Feminist Press, 1998)

The Rising of the Women: Feminist Solidarity and Class Conflict, 1880-1917 (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1980; University of Illinois Press, 2001, with a new introduction)

Woman and Her Mind: The Story of Daily Life (Boston: New England Free Press, 1970); excerpted in Notes from the Second Year, 1970; Liberation News Service, 1970; Burton J. Fishman, ed., Viewpoints(New York: St. Martin’s Press,1971); Roberta Salper, ed., Female Liberation(New York: Alfred E. Knopf, 1972); Anne Koedt, Ellen Levine, and Anita Rapone, eds.,Radical Feminism (Chicago: Quadrangle Press, 1973); Barbara A. Crow, ed., Radical Feminism: A Documentary Reader(New York: NYU University Press, 2000)


Selected Articles

"Rojava, a Socialist-Feminist Bastion in Syria, is Under Siege," The Indypendent, May 29, 2018.

"Showdown in Afrin: Turkey’s Attack on Syria’s Kurds Threatens That Country’s Most Democratic, Pluralistic Force,” The Nation, Jan. 29, 2018.


"The US Women’s Movement, the Left, and United Fronts,” New Review (Moscow), Oct. 7, 2017.

"Sound the Trumpet,” openDemocracy 50.50, Nov. 15, 2016.

"The Rojava Model: How Syria’s Kurds Govern,” Foreign Affairs, Oct. 14, 2016.

"Turkey Is Supporting the Syrian Jihadis Washington Says It Wants To Fight,” The Nation, Sept. 16, 2016.

"A Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party,” openDemocracy 50.50, Aug. 23, 2016.

"When Women Fight ISIS,” New York Times, Aug. 18, 2016.

"The Revolution in Rojava," Dissent, April 22, 2015.

"Women and Islamic Militancy: A Response," Dissent, Jan. 17, 2015.

"The Antis: Anti-imperialist or Anti-Feminist?" openDemocracy 50.50, Nov. 19, 2014.

"A fresh look: Towards an Israel-Palestine Two State Solution," openDemocracy 50.50, Sept. 22, 2014.

"Ten Points Towards a Two-State Solution," Dissent, Sept. 16, 2014.

"The Muslim Right and the Anglo-American Left: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name," Tablet, Aug. 5, 2014.

"Gaza: The Jewish Right and the Muslim Right," openDemocracy 50.50, Aug 4, 2014.

"Human Rights Without Religion is Like a Fish Without a Bicycle," openDemocracy 50.50, June 23, 2014.

"Women's Emancipation and Human Rights: 'Can These Bones Live?'" openDemocracy 50.50, June 9, 2014.

"Rashid Rehman: Chronicle of a Death Foretold," openDemocracy 50.50, May 26, 2014.

"Climate Change and False Gods: Moloch and the Bible-Punchers in the US," openDemocracy 50.50, April 14, 2014.

"Gender-based Censorship," openDemocracy 50.50, Jan. 27, 2014 .

"Human Rights, Social Justice, and American Exceptionalism," (with Cathy Albisa), openDemocracy 50.50, Dec. 10, 2013.

"Fundamentalism and Education," openDemocracy 50.50, June 25, 2013.

"Fundamentalists and Businessmen: The Battle for Secular Space,” Dissent, June 12, 2013.

"Unpacking the Idea of Islamophobia,’” openDemocracy 5050, May 20, 2013.

"Nude Protests and Political Contradictions,” openDemocracy 5050, April 22, 2013.

"The Ethics of Alliance and Solidarity: An Exchange Between Rafia Zakaria and Meredith Tax,” Dissent, March 15, 2013.

"Why Free Speech Is a Feminist Issue,” Index on Censorship, Mar. 8, 2013.

"An Expedient Alliance? The Muslim Right and the Anglo-American Left,” Dissent, Feb. 26, 2013.

"Double Bind: Tied Up in Knots on the Left,” openDemocracy 50.50, Feb. 5, 2013.

"The peace movement: debating alliances,” openDemocracy 50.50, Nov. 12, 2012.

"Code Pink, the Taliban, and Malala Yousafzai,” openDemocracy 50.50, Oct. 13, 2012.

"Gitagate, Two Years After,” Dissent, June 27, 2012.

"Women and Islam, A Debate with Human Rights Watch,” New York Review of Books, Feb. 23, 2012.

"Working-class lives, in writing," Comment Is Free, Guardian, Mar. 8, 2011.

"Egypt, Madison, Abortion Rights,”Dissent, Mar. 8, 2011,

"Run, Friends, the Old World is Behind You,” Dissent, Feb. 21, 2011,

"Rights, not righteousness," Comment Is Free, Guardian, Dec. 20, 2010.

"Women have human rights, too," Comment Is Free,Guardian, Dec. 13, 2010.

"Ministry of Pain,” review,Women’s Review of Books, Jan., 2007.

"Women’s Voices,” The Nation, Sept. 15, 2003.

"Taslima's Pilgrimage,” review, The Nation, Nov. 18, 2002.

"In the Year of Harry Potter, Enter the Dragon,”The Nation, Jan. 28, 2002.

"Don’t Censor Yourself!” Lilith, Winter 2001.

"Women’s WORLD: A Transnational Network of Women Writers: The Targeting of Feminist Writers,” Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, II.1, 2001.

"Ten Days After the World Trade Center Attack,” published in newspapers in Finland, Swaziland, Turkey, November, 2001.

"Not In Our Name,”The Nation, June 4, 2001.

"The Pebble and the Lake,” in The Power of the Word II: Women’s Voices and the New European Order, ed. Nadezdha Azhgikhina and Meredith Tax (Moscow and New York: Women’s WORLD, 2000).

"Aboard the Balkan Express,” The Nation, Dec. 13, 1999.

"World Culture War,” The Nation, May 17, 1999; reprinted in Nothing Sacred: Women Respond to Religious Fundamentalism and Terror, ed. Betsy Reed (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press/The Nation Books, 2002).

"Red Diaper Babies,” review, Women’s Review of Books, Apr., 1999

"For the People Hear Us Singing, Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!” in The Feminist Memoir Project, ed. Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Ann Snitow (New York: Crown, 1998, Rutgers University Press, 2007).

"Pataki's Army Goes Onward to SUNY,” Newsday, Nov. 16, 1998.

"The NGO Forum,” Hong Kong Journal of Gender Studies, Spring, 1996.

"Beijing Backlash," symposium in The Nation, Sept. 11, 1995.

"My Son Can't Read," Parents, Sept., 1995.

"The U.N. and Women," The Nation, Mar. 11, 1995.

"Human Rights, Women’s Rights, and Women Writers: Some Questions of Policy,” Pro-Femina (Belgrade), I.1, Spring, 1995.

"Keep Censors Out of School Libraries,” Parents, Apr., 1995.

"My Censorship––and Ours," The Nation, Mar. 4, 1995.

"What Good is a Smart Girl?" in Her Face in the Mirror: Jewish Women on Mothers and Daughters, ed. Faye Moscowitz (Boston: Beacon Press, 1994).

"I Write Because My Purpose is Education,” in Her Testimony: American Women Writers of the 90s, interviews by Aruna Sitesh (New Delhi: Affiliated East West Press, 1994).

The Uprising of the Thirty Thousand,” in Unequal Sisters: A Multicultural Reader in U.S. Women’s History, Second Edition, ed. Ellen Carol DuBois and Vicki L. Ruiz (New York: Routledge, 1994).

"Stark Naked," review, The Nation, Mar. 8, 1993.

"Five Women Who Won't Be Silenced," The Nation, May 10, 1993.

"Thinking Locally, Acting Globally," Women's Review of Books, May, 1992.

"Return of the Native Americans," VLS, Nov., 1991.

"Follow the Reader," VLS, May, 1990.

"A Purely Generic Existence," Women's Review of Books, July-Aug., 1989.

"Tales from the Stoop and the Ballroom,” New York Time Book Review, July 9, 1989

"How Do We Learn to Imagine a Peace That Is More Than the Absence of War?" From Newspeak to Nukespeak(Llubljana: International PEN Writers for Peace Committee, 1989).

"Alice Takes a Chance,”New York Post Books, May 14, 1989

"March to a Crossroads on Abortion," The Nation, May 8, 1989; reprinted in The Nation 1865-1990,ed. Katrina vanden Heuvel (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1990).

"Raising Attila the Hun,”New York Times, Dec. 5, 1988.

"The Sound of One Hand Clapping: Women's Liberation and the Left," Dissent, Fall, 1988.

"A Contract on Stalin,” New York Times Book Review, May 22, 1988.

"What the City Needs Now Is Some Mothering,” New York Observer, May 9, 1988.

"Another Kind of Orthodoxy,” New York Newsday, Apr. 29, 1988.

"Opinion,” New York Observer, Apr. 25, 1988.

"Time to Save Children’s Lives,” New York Observer, Apr. 11, 1988

"Wisconsin Gothic,” Present Tense, Nov./Dec., 1987; reprinted in Beyond Gender and Geography: American Women Writers, Modern Short Stories, ed. Aruna Sitesh (New Delhi: Affiliated East West Press, 1994).

"Too Ecumenical,” New York Times Book Review, Sept. 7, 1986.

"Speak, Memory," VLS, Mar., 1986.

Introduction, Sherna Berger Gluck, From Parlor to Prison: Five American Suffragists Talk About Their Lives,(New York: New Feminist Library, Monthly Review Press, 1985).

"Pop Goes the Novel: Historical Fiction Seizes Power," VLS, Dec., 1985.

"Feast and Famine,"VLS, Dec., 1985.

"Genre Benders," VLS, May, 1985.

"Ancient Law, Modern Times: Jews and the Woman Question," Village Voice, Jan. 1, 1985.

"Forgotten History,” review,American Book Review,July-Oct. 1984.

"Learning How to Bake," Socialist Review, Jan.-Feb., 1984.

"I Had Been Hungry All the Years," Between Women, ed. Carol Ascher, Sarah Ruddick, and Louise DeSalvo (Boston: Beacon Press, 1984; second edition, 1993); reprinted in Unequal Sisters: A Multicultural Reader in U.S. Women’s History, ed. Ellen Carol DuBois and Vicki L. Ruiz (New York: Routledge, 1990).

"Streetwise," Village Voice, Dec. 6, 1983.

"Midwestern Original,"The Nation, July 3, 1983.

"Grandma Knows Best," VLS, June 1983.

"The United Front of Women,” Monthly Review, Oct., 1980.

"New Approaches to Childcare,” Columbia Today, June, 1977; reprinted by the UN International Year of the Child Secretariat, 1977.

Over a hundred short reviews of historical and romance fiction in Kirkus Reviews, 1976-8.

"There Was a Young Woman Who Swallowed a Lie,” song, recorded by Pete Seeger on PeteSeeger Singalong (1980) andBanks of Marble(1984); text published in David F. Wrench, Psychology: A Social Approach (New York: McGraw Hill, 1972), The Liberated Woman’s Appointment Calendar, 1972; Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women's Liberation Movement,ed. Rosalyn Baxandall and Linda Gordon (New York:Basic Books, 2000).

"Culture Is Not Neutral," in Radical Perspectives in the Arts, ed. Lee Baxandall (New York: Penguin, 1972); reprinted inClassic Philosophical Questions, ed. James A. Gould (Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill, 1975).

"Women’s Songs,” Sing Out!, Jan.-Feb., 1971; reprinted in Pouring Down Words,ed. Suzette Haden Ellis (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975).

"Radical Fiction," Ramparts, May, 1971.

"Anniversary of an Atrocity: The Ludlow Massacre,” Liberation News Service, May 6, 1970

"Sexual Politics," review, Ramparts, Nov., 1970

"Conditions of Working Women in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries,” Women: A Journal of Liberation, II.3, 1970.


IV. Employment and Organizational Work

Steering Committee Member, Emergency Committee for Rojava, 2017-present

Steering Committee Member, North American Rojava Alliance, 2014-2017

Founding Chair, Centre for Secular Space, London, 2011-2014

Adjunct Professor of Urban Studies, Queens College Workers’ Education Center, Joseph S. Murphy Institute, CUNY, Spring 2009-2011

This is a BA and MA program for city and healthcare workers, supported by their unions.I taught two writing courses, Writing Human Rights,” and Urban Voices,” a memoir-writing course resulting in the publication of two books.

President and CEO, Women’s WORLD, 1994-2009

As President of Women’s WORLD (Women’s World Organization for Rights, Literature, and Development), a global free speech network of women writers founded in September, 1994, I was principally responsible for putting together its board, developing its international programs and structure, hiring staff, and writing grants to such donors as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Open Society Institute. I also did international liaison, support, and coordination for regional programs and networks in Africa, India, Latin America and the former Soviet Union. In the course of this work I

  • Wrote and edited The Power of the Word: Culture, Censorship and Voice, the first systematic examination of the relationship between gender and censorship, subsequently translated into Japanese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and ten Indian languages
  • Organized a Women’s WORLD delegation of writers from Russia, the Philippines, Peru and the U.S to the U.N. Conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing, where we held meetings with Chinese writers, gave two workshops, and presented The Power of the Word
  • Organized the first world conference on gender and censorship at the Rockefeller Foundation’s center in Bellagio in 1996, with participation by writers from Argentina, Belarus, Chile, Egypt, France, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, and the United States
  • Organized a series of Southern African workshops and meetings in August, 1998, to initiate an African women writers’ network, including two workshops and two dinner meetings at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, and informal meetings in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Organized a European team meeting in Bellagio in February, 1999, from which came our second book, The Power of the Word II: Women’s Voices and the New European Order, edited by me and Nadezdha Azhigkhina, and published simultaneously in English, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian
  • Developed organizational relationships with Women’s WORLD affiliates in Argentina, Brazil, Ghana, Greece, India, Italy, Peru, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, and Uganda
  • Initiated and supported a writing workshop in 2000 for members of FEMRITE, a Ugandan women writers’ organization, to enable them to raise their level of literary skill with the help of Ghanaian master teacher Ama Ata Aidoo
  • Wrote, edited, and supervised the design of Women’s WORLD’s international website,, which went up in 2000 and featured feminist political writing from around the globe, including frequently updated sections on "The Crisis” and "Voices for Peace in Israel and Palestine.” The site is still preserved as an archive.
  • Designed and administered the first Women’s WORLD global writing contest, "Women’s Voices in War Zones,” in 2003, which drew entries from 290 writers in 45 countries and three refugee camps
  • Planned and organized Women’s WORLD public events, including a 1998 panel on women and ethnic war at the Interchurch Center, two panels at the City University in 2000, an awards event for winners of our 2003 writing contest at the Puffin Room, and a panel on "Globalization, Fundamentalism, and Women" at the 2006 PEN World Voices Festival
  • Spoke at international conferences and meetings in Brazil, Canada, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Thailand, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the U.S.
  • Organized defense and support campaigns for a number of threatened writers, many of whom were forced into exile, including Kawther Salaam (Palestine/Austria), Sarah Mkhonza(Swaziland/U.S.), Patricia McFadden (Swaziland/Zimbabwe), Svetlana Alexievich (Belarus/France), Taslima Nasrin (Bangladesh/Sweden), Lydia Cacho (Mexico), Malihe Magazhei (Iran)
I also worked on several university-based programs to strengthen women’s voices in the U.S.:
  • A collaboration with the Women’s Studies Department at SUNY New Paltz on a 1998 conference about gender and censorship, organized in response to censorship attempts by the state legislature
  • A creative writing workshop for women in the Welfare Rights Organization at Hunter College, 1999-2000, culminating in a reading and pamphlet publication
  • A week of activities at Smith College in 2003, involving writers from the U.S. and Southern Africa, and culminating in an event entitled "Spoken but not Heard: Democracy, Feminism, and the Challenge of Gender-Based Censorship”


Board and Executive Committee member, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom/Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace, 2002-2003

This was a national organization of American Jews advocating a two state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, along the lines of the 1947 borders, founded in the spring of 2002. In 2010, Brit Tzedek merged with J Street, forming the base of its membership group.

Founding Chair, International PEN Women Writers’ Committee (IPPWC), 1991-1994

As founding Chair of the IPWWC, I organized a two year campaign to win its acceptance from the Assembly of International PEN; developed feminist anti-censorship defense work focused on international cases with a strong gender component, such as those of Taslima Nasrin and the Five Croatian Witches; and planned readings and panels for PEN Congresses, emphasizing women’s literary contributions

Founding Co-chair, Women’s Committee, Board Member, Vice-president and Executive Committee Member, PEN American Center, 1986-1998

Following a meeting protesting the under-representation of women speakers at the 1986 International PEN Congress in New York, Grace Paley and I organized a Women’s Committee and co-chaired it for the next two years.I was elected to PEN’s Executive Board in 1987, and served on it until 1998, and was a Vice President and Executive Committee member 1989-1991

Parent Steering Committee, West Side Community School, 1991-1994

The West Side Community School was an alternative public elementary school, located in District 3. As one of its parent initiators, I put together the proposal to the Community School Board, worked closely with a core group of parents and teachers, and raised grant money to put a parent coordinator onsite

Founding Co-chair, CARASA (Committee for Abortion Rights and Against Sterilization Abuse), 1977-1981

CARASA was a pioneering reproductive rights organization, founded in 1977 to fight the Hyde amendment and the problem of sterilization abuse. I was a founding member and co-chair, did a lot of its public speaking, and was active in forming the Reproductive Rights National Network, a national coalition with the same program, in 1979

Associate Professorin American Studies, SUNY Old Westbury, 1979-1980

I taught courses in writing and literature

Teaching Adjunct, District Council 37/Hofstra University Institute of Applied Social Sciences, 1978-1979

I taught a basic writing course in this worker education program

Teaching Adjunct, Women’s Studies, Livingston College, Rutgers University, 1978-1979

I taught a senior seminar in women’s studies

Editorial Board, New Feminist Library of Monthly Review Press, 1978-1985

I was a founding member of the editorial board of this book-publishing project, initiated by feminist writers and scholars in memory of Sarah Eisenstein (1946-1978). We edited eight books.

Associate Editor, Columbia Today,1977-1978

This was the alumni magazine of Columbia University

Weekly book reviewer, Kirkus Reviews,1976-1978

I reviewed hundreds of gothic and romance novels

Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, 1972-1974

The Chicago Women’s Liberation Union was a progressive feminist organization with considerable influence.I was active in its outreach efforts to working women, and helped organize a 1973 coalition for a Women’s Day March for Women’s Equality and Economic Justice"

Bread & Roses, 1969-1972

Bread & Roses was a pioneering socialist feminist organization in Boston. As one of its founding group, I helped organize in 1969 the first International Women’s Day demonstration in Boston in over thirty years. I also did public speaking, and initiated a number of specific programs to do outreach to working women, including a support committee for the General Electric strike of 1969, in which equal pay was an issue, and a 1971 conference for women office workers

Lecturer in English, Brandeis University 1968-1969

This was a one year replacement position.I taught Humanities 1, English Composition, and 18thCentury English literature.