Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Balcerzak, Scott

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of English


This dissertation is a textual analysis of Tori Amos as a feminist artist. Because Amos has had a successful and enduring career, she presents a unique opportunity to explore the ways third-wave feminism has influenced popular culture and vice-versa. This dissertation utilizes both a feminist and cultural studies lens to understand Amos, her work, and her fan community as texts. Through a chronological study of Amos’s catalog, I will demonstrate how Amos’s works have adapted to the demands and interests of third-wave feminism, moving from emotional non-narrative, to active political engagement with some mis-steps, and finally to an understanding of gender as a cultural and social construction and the political uses of drag. I will provide detailed analyses of Amos’s earliest work in the nineties, which cemented her place as a feminist artist. The project then moves on to subsequent albums which are less often examined by popular culture and feminist critics: Strange Little Girls (2001), Scarlet’s Walk (2002), and American Doll Posse (2007). Finally, this study will conclude with an analysis of Amos’s most current works and artistic legacy.


265 pages




Northern Illinois University

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