Announcing 2018 Kore Award for Best Dissertation

The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology 2018 Kore Award Committee is pleased to announce the following honorees:

  • The 2018 Kore Award for Best Dissertation in Women and Mythology has been awarded to Dr. April Heaslip of Pacifica Graduate Institute, for “Regenerating Magdalene: Psyche’s Quest for the Archetypal Bride.”
  • The 2018 Dissertation of Merit is awarded to Dr. Elizabeth Wolterink of Pacifica Graduate Institute, for “Cloaked in Darkness: Feminine Katabasis in Myth and Culture.”

Dr. April Heaslip’s work focuses on the capacity of feminist mythology as cultural and psychological change agent embodied in the lost and degraded archetypal Bride, Mary Magdalene.  As a Middle Eastern woman embedded within a complex web of gendered religious “history” and mythology, she is also located within a dynamic and enigmatic mystery linking ancient Mediterranean goddesses, including Inanna, Isis, and Ariadne, with a partnership lineage relevant for our times.   The void created by this lost and misrepresented archetypal feminine as a sovereign and powerful presence has left Western cultures with a corrupt, wounded, and incomplete masculinist paradigm longing for wholeness. Utilizing literary and film studies, Jungian psychology, feminist studies, archaeomythology, and religious studies to examine the cultural and personal phenomenon of Magdalenian renewal, this study explores how remythologizing bridal regeneration—as well as remapping the neglected Wasteland landscape—revitalizes the relationship between psyche, culture, and Nature.
Dr. Elizabeth Wolterink’s study of feminine katabasis asserts that myths of the journey to the underworld in which the protagonist is female have been marginalized in favor of stories in which the descender is male. Female figures on the journey, also called the nekyia, act in significantly different ways than their male counterparts and stories of feminine descent commonly result in the protagonist remaining in the underworld. Analyses of the nekyia of Ereshkigal, Hel, Izanami, Hine-nui-te-po, Inanna, and Persephone show that female descent narratives are as wide-spread as those of males and illuminate the differences between feminine descent and the traditionally accepted pattern of katabasis. The study finds that these female figures, far from being “defeated” by the underworld, cloak themselves in its power and come to abide there, making it their home.
The honorees will be awarded at the 2018 ASWM Conference in Las Vegas, March 16-17, 2018.  Please join us in congratulating these fine scholars and in celebrating emerging scholarship in Women and Mythology.
The 2018 Kore Award Committee
Dr. Dawn Work-MaKinne, Chair
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