We are pleased that Dr. Elinor W. Gadon will present the conference keynote entitled History or Mystery: Fact of Fiction?
Dr. Gadon is a cultural historian who has taught at Harvard Divinity School and the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is presently a Resident Scholar at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Resource Center.
Her major publication, The Once and Future Goddess: A Symbol for Our Time, is a visual chronicle of the history of the sacred female and her re-emergence in the cultural mythology of our time.
Her research has focused on the analysis of myth and imagery within their particular cultural contexts, especially with reference to issues of gender and spirituality. In particular she has focused on India and the contributions of women artists. With Shulamit Reinharz, she has written Tiger by the Tail: Women Artists of India Transforming Culture (2007).
Dr. Gadon has recently completed From Blood to Fire: The Changing Culture of the Village Goddesses of Orissa in collaboration with sociologist Rita Ray and has submitted it for publication. She is presently working on a monograph The Village Goddesses of Orissa. Her next project will be her memoirs.
In 2006 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art, an international organization that recognizes the lasting contributions of women artists and art historians.
In her article “The Secular Israeli Woman” for The Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice (Fall 2009), Dr. Gadon wrote,
“The highest level of a woman’s spirituality is the integration of internal and external voices, the integration between subjective and objective knowledge and the integration between intuitive, personal knowledge and the knowledge received from others. This stage includes waiving belief in a black and white world and developing an ability to live with conflicts, knowing how to maintain connections and responsibilities within the environment, and listening and respecting the body and feelings without shame.”