Rachel Thain-Gray



Research title: Gender Complexity in Feminist Museums

Research Summary

The dominant framework of fourth wave feminism is the ‘action’ of intersectionality. Informed by Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989) this strategy unites distinct identity-based social movement groups in the pursuit of social justice for all. This trajectory reveals the cyclical nature of feminism’s historical theories converging with technology-driven social conditions. The result is a new wave of feminism with the digital and theoretical assets to reinvigorate and transform theory into action. 

My thesis considers how a fourth-wave feminist museological practice could contribute to intersectional inclusion for women and non-binary people who are marginalised by mainstream feminism; why this is a necessary development; and examines what the broad cross-sectoral implications might be; making an original contribution to current academic analysis of fourth wave feminist theory (Rivers, 2017), feminist museological practice (Bergsdóttir, 2016), and social justice (Sandell, 2012) and identity politics (Mills, 2008) in mainstream museums. 

https://www.academia.edu/37156221/RESEARCH_FROM_A_GRASSROOTS_MUSEUM Thain-Gray, R. and Patrick, A. eds. (2018) Research from a Grassroots Museum, Glasgow: Glasgow Women’s Library


  • Thain-Gray, R. and Patrick, A. eds. (2018) Research from a Grassroots Museum, Glasgow: Glasgow Women’s Library.
  • Thain-Gray, R, Jones, R and Malloch, M (2016) Gender and Criminal Justice: Challenging Prejudice, Scottish Justice Matters, 4 (1), pp. 11-12.
  • Thain-Gray, R. ed., (2015) Mixing the Colours: Women Speaking About Sectarianism, Glasgow: Glasgow Women’s Library.




  • Museums Association, Festival of Change, November 2018 (Modified Monopoly – Museum Edition’ Intervention)
  • Museums Association, People Power: Embedding Community Participation Conference September 2018 (‘Community Partnerships - Challenges and Opportunities’ Chair of discussion)
  • Social History Curators Group, A True Reflection? Displays, Stories and Exhibitions Conference July 2018 (‘Innovative approaches to inclusion’ presentation)
  • Association of Independent Museums (AIM), National ‘Changing Gear’ Conference June 2018 (‘The benefits of equality-proofing your organisation’ presentation)
  • Glasgow Women’s Library, Equality in Progress Conference, June 2018 (Conference organiser, ‘How are Scottish museums currently approaching (in)equality?’ presentation and ‘Analysing systems of intersectional inequality in museums’ presentation)
  • Scottish Museums Federation, Thinking Outside the Box – Innovative Approaches to Museum Work Conference April 2018 (‘Co-creating change in the museum’ workshop)
  • SGSSS/SGSAH Spring into Methods Feminist Research (in Action) April 2018 (‘Feminist research in action: intersectional feminism, participatory research and museums’ presentation)
  • Museums Association, All Inclusive: Championing Diversity in Museums Conference 2018 (‘Open up: museums for everyone’ panel presentation)
  • Museums Galleries Scotland Inequalities: Bridging the Gap Conference 2017 (Dismantling the Structure of Inequalities in the Museum Sector’ presentation).
  • Glasgow Women’s Library and West of Scotland Regional Equalities Council, Mainstreaming Anti-Sectarianism in the Equalities Toolkit Launch and Seminar 2017 (Conference organiser and ‘MainstreamingAnti-Sectarianism in the Equalities’ presentation)
  • University of Stirling, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research ‘Conversations about Justice’ Seminar 2017 (‘A creative feminist activist approach to prejudice reduction' presentation).
  • Scottish Community Development Centre and What Works Scotland ‘People, Prejudice and Planning: Community-based responses to promoting equality and tackling hate’ Seminar 2017 (‘Feminist activist approach to prejudice reduction at Glasgow Women’s Library’ presentation)
  • Glasgow Women’s Library, Women’s Experiences of Sectarianism Conference 2015 (Conference organiser and ‘Women’s Experiences of Sectarianism’ presentation)
  • University of Stirling, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice ‘Constructing ‘Problematic’ Identities’ Research Seminar 2015 on (‘Women’s experiences of sectarianism in Scotland’ presentation).