Animal Myths and Mysteries at Conference

We are very happy to include in our program such varied and unique scholarship concerning the mysteries of animals.  Ever-present in world myths and literature, animals of all kinds are, in many cases, as much a part of our lives as people (some might say, “other people”). In every culture their attributes and qualities contribute to our symbolism and sacred stories.  Here are just a few of the panels featured at this year’s conference!




  • Idoia Arana-Beobide, “Mari: The Power of Feminine Immanence in the Basque and Anishinabe Belief Systems”
  • Lauren Raine, “Spider Woman: A Myth for Our Times”
  • Monica Mody, “Snake Priestesses and Snakes in India”




  • Heather Kohser, “Pollinators and People – Our Evolving Story”
  • Marie-Lucie Tarpent,  “The Animal Origins of Medusa”
  • Lisa R. Skura, “Natural Darkness and Women”


  • Judith Maeryam Wouk, “Sorcerers, Kings, Donkeys and Angels: A ReFraming of Biblical Story”
  • Colleen Harris, “An Automythography of Liminality: Dante’s (Un)Natural Worlds Bounded by Animal and Woman”
  • Sarah Chandler, “The Bereaved She-Bears: Violent Saviors or Terrorizing Monsters”


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Schedule for 2018 Conference

We are very proud of this year’s schedule of presentations.  It covers a wide variety of topics relating to animal mysteries, sacred places and earth-centered knowledge and traditions.  We have panels, films, workshops, and surprises in store.

We know that there may be some changes between now and March 16–so please watch for updates!

ASWM 2018 schedule 2-13

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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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Presentation Grant Award Winner: Rachel Kippen

From Pesticide-Laden Plastic to Authentic Artworkings: Weaving Environmental Justice in Hawaiian Lauhala

Environmental justice education is only genuine if it includes indigenous and women’s rights perspectives.

The Hawaiian cultural practice of weaving is imbued with cultural significance. In the traditional art form of Lauhala, Hawaiian women weave together leaf (lau) from the hala tree into mats, clothing, and other textiles. My research shares personal artworkings and those from environmental justice research, particularly Lauhala created by participants who wove pieces of agricultural plastic while discussing the weaving of perspectives. My research addresses climate change, water scarcity, and plastic waste in a primarily agricultural and immigrant community. The rich weavings from a multi-day environmental justice Monterey Bay walk imbricated these multivocal perspectives, including shifting women’s roles, naming stories, the naming of places, and the erasure of indigenous names by waves of settler-colonizers. Creating the weavings enabled re-envisioning what the original Ohlone landscape looked like and countered values enforced by patriarchy that lacked respect for weaving, otherwise seen as minimized “women’s work.” The work also heightened a desire for care for the land, malama ‘aina.


A. Rachel Kippen is a coastal environmental quality advocate and artist with a background in environmental program development and ocean conservation nonprofit management in Santa Cruz, CA. She is a Masters student in Environmental Studies at the Prescott College and holds a Bachelors in Environmental Studies and a Certificate in Strategic Leadership and Nonprofit Management. She researches environmental justice education through place and arts-based curriculum development in agricultural and immigrant communities, and coordinates environmental initiatives for the City of Watsonville.

Rachel’s presentation is featured on the panel, THE REGENERATIVE EARTH: GODDESSES, PRIESTESSES, ORACLES, FUTURES, with Marna Hauk, Mandisa Amber Wood, and Mandy Leetch

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Conference panel: “Fierce and Beneficent Female Figures”

Fierce and Beneficent Female Figures and their Evolution from Prehistory into Modern Folkloric Witches and Fairies and their Enduring Iconography

Many Neolithic cultures were equalitarian and matrilocal.  After the migrations of the patriarchal Proto-Indo-Europeans throughout Europe, South Asia, and elsewhere, the cultures and the religions of the indigenous peoples were changed.  “Great”-Goddesses of the life continuum which were worshipped by the indigenous peoples were assimilated into pantheons dominated by male deities.

At this time, the “group”-Goddesses, which would have had many powers and functions in the Neolithic, were likely demoted to fairies and often to witches.  Many of these historic figures had avian characteristics, as did thousands of figurines excavated from the European Neolithic: they had wings and they could fly.  Thus, they carried on some of the attributes of Neolithic female figures.  These groups of female figures may have represented aspects of the divine and often the power of renewal.

Starr Goode will share her knowledge of British and Irish Sheela- na-gigs and their ancient origins; Dawn Work-MaKinne will discuss the Celto-Germanic (and Italic) Three Mothers, with information from her Kore-Award winning doctoral dissertation; Mary Beth Moser will present on Tyrolean Anguane, and Miriam Robbins Dexter will discuss Romanian Zâne, Latvian and Lithuanian Laumas and Raganas, Indic Yogīṇīs and Yakṣīṇīs, and Slavic Vili and Rusalki.

This panel features Kore Award winners Dawn-Work Makinne and Mary Beth Moser, and Sarasvati Nonfiction Book Award winners Miriam Robbins Dexter (2012) and Starr Goode (2018).


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Upcoming at Conference: Women and Earth-Centered Mythologies


Joan Marler moderates this important panel for our upcoming conference in March.  Scholars bring the perspective of archaeomythology, which combines archaeological and folklore evidence with information about sacred stories and images.

  • Joan Cichon, “Celebrating Goddess, Women, Plants and Animals:  Bronze Age Cretan Iconography as seen through an Archaeomythological Perspective
  • Mara Lynn Keller, “Divine Mistress of Animals in Ancient Greece”
  • Susan Moulton, “Unbridling the Past: Reconsidering Animal Imagery in Paleolithic Cave Paintings”
  • Elisabeth Sikie, “The Personhood of Nature and an Indigenous Consciousness of Communion Stories of Bees and Glaciers”
  • Moderator:  Joan Marler
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Who’s Presenting in March? Vicki Noble

Indigenous Women’s Resistance: A Model of Embeddedness


Those of us involved in the field of Matriarchal Studies know that around the world, Indigenous women frequently take potent leadership in the resistance movements of their communities, often against extremely unequal and often violent corporate powers such as multinational oil and gas companies, large agribusiness monopolies, and State-sponsored entities who cooperate in the exploitation of land and natural resources. I have long been intrigued by the indomitable strength and fearless courage demonstrated by such women, even though they seem in so many ways to be less fortunate than women in the global North of European ancestry. Where do they get their nerve—their “empowerment”?

I believe the answer is their unbroken connection to Mother Earth or Mother Nature, including the lived experienced that they are part and parcel of Her body and therefore MUST protect the land, water, air, animals, and people—at all costs. And I believe that this “protectors” mindset is part of an ancient, shared experience of all humanity (before patriarchy) as “mother-centered” or matriarchal, valuing peace, harmony, ritual and embeddedness in nature.

Vicki Noble is a feminist healer and wisdom teacher, co-creator of Motherpeace and author of numerous books, including Shakti Woman and The Double Goddess. For decades she has traveled and taught internationally. Her books are translated ad published in various languages. Retired from teaching as a graduate professor in two Women’s Spirituality Masters Programs in California, she teaches regularly in Europe. At home she works as a professional astrologer and healer, adapting Tibetal Bucchist Dakini practices for her Goddess students and holding private intensives in Santa Cruz, California.

Vicki’s presentation at our conference is included in the Matriarchal Studies Panel “Motherhood, Resistance, and Matriarchal Politics.”

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Who’s Presenting at the March Conference? Nancy Vedder-Shults

Animal Oracles: Divinatory Practices for Tapping Your Inner Wisdom

Seers throughout the ages have used many types of animal, bird, and insect oracles in their divination. For this workshop, we will practice a deuchainn divination employed by the ancient Celts (a chance meeting with a creature, adapted for indoors) as well as animal mudras from India (special Hindu hand positions) as methods for tapping our inner wisdom. Such embodied oracles help us turn inward to develop deep listening, deep vision, and deep sensing of our insight. Opening to our inner depths in this way allows us to set priorities, meet challenges, and find creative solutions. This workshop is an ideal introduction for those who are just beginning to perform oracles as well as an opportunity for those experienced with divination to find fresh inspiration. Come and sink deeply into your inner knowing, fine-tune your life’s trajectory, and renew your connection with Spirit.

Named a “Wisdom Keeper of the Goddess Spirituality Movement” in 2013, Nancy Vedder-Shults, Ph.D, is the author of The World is Your Oracle: Divinatory Practices for Tapping Your Inner Wisdom (Fair Winds Press: 2017). This innovative book presents 40 multicultural techniques, 1/3 visual, 1/3 auditory, and 1/3 kinesthetic. Nancy writes for SageWoman Magazine and Feminism and Religion. One of her articles appears in ASWM’s Proceedings Volume II, Vibrant Voices:  Women, Myth, and the Arts. She also recorded Chants for the Queen Heaven, a CD of Goddess songs from around the world. Learn more at Mama’s Minstrel



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Presentation Grant Award Winner: Tahnahga Yako Myers

Carrying the Lineage of Keewaydinoquay: Everything Is Alive Animal, Plant, Land Forms & Weather Systems


Two primary oshkibewis (helpers) of the late Keewaydinoquay, an Anishinaabe mashkikikwe (Ojibwe herbal medicine woman) will be co-presenting a workshop to include Sacred Stories that express how human consciousness is in direct relationship with the consciousness of animals, plants, land forms and weather systems. We are linked physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually with these other-than-human beings. Because modernity denies the reality of human interdependence and inter-relationship, much of this relationship resides in the unconscious. It is carried forward in our inarticulate longing, dreams, myth-making, art-making and through indigenous wisdom traditions that are beginning to influence the dominant culture (for example the mobilization of water protectors in North Dakota). The distinct awareness and deep knowing of our interdependence and interrelationship with nature may arise during a healing crisis. According to the Seventh Fire prophecy humanity is now in such a crisis. However, the existence of the sacred is persistent. Personal and cultural Sacred Stories transmit the knowledge that everything is alive despite hundreds of years of repression. This workshop will engage participants in a ceremonial circle for the purpose of awakening and deepening our experience as conscious partners with animals, plants, the earth and sky.

Please Note: This is an ‘all in’ workshop and we ask participants to come on time and stay for the entire circle. Migwetch. (Thank you)

Tahnahga Yako Myers

Tahnahga is a pastoral counselor and traditional healer in the Great Lakes region serving Native communities with traditional, cultural practices that support healing as well as the dying process. She is a storyteller, workshop leader, cultural lineage carrier, healer and herbal medicine woman. She was the seventh helper or oshkibewis of the late Keewaydinoquay.

Ann Megisikwe Filemyr, Ph.D.

Ann serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs & Dean of Southwestern College, a consciousness-centered graduate school in Santa Fe, and is the Director of the Transformational Ecopsychology Certificate of the New Earth Institute. She is a poet and storyteller, a cultural lineage carrier, healer and herbal medicine woman. She was the fourth helper or oshkibewis of the late Keewaydinoquay.



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Who’s Presenting in March? Cristina Biaggi

Activism into Art into Activism into Art


I will discuss my new (fourth) book ACTIVISM INTO ART INTO ACTIVISM INTO ART with a foreword by Gloria Steinem.  I wrote this book to preserve and share the feminist history that shaped where we stand today and which was crucial to my development as an artist and writer.  My goal in this book was to present my experiences, which were part of the feminist movement of the 1960s through the 1980s, and the art they inspired me to create.  I became a feminist at a pivotal time in history – the 70s and the 80s – and was motivated by what I saw and experienced to create a body of work inspired by these events.

Cristina Biaggi, artist, activist and scholar, has achieved international recognition as a sculptor of bronze and wood and a creator of large outdoor installations and collages in two and three dimensions. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. She is a respected authority on the Great Goddess, Neolithic and Paleolithic prehistory, and the origin and effect of patriarchy on contemporary life. Her works include Habitations of the Great Goddess, In the Footsteps of the Goddess, and The Rule of Mars. Her most recent book, Activism into Art. . ., with a foreword by Gloria Steinem, is about how the global feminist movement of the 1960s through the 1980s motivated her activism, which in turn inspired her artwork.

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Presentation Grant Award Winners: Apela Colorado and Frances Santiago

Mysteries of the Sacred Pond and Its Lizard Guardian: Tribute to Alice Kaehukai Shaw, Memory-keeper of Moku`ula and the Kihawahine

Moku`ula, the “Red Island” (referring to menses and genealogy), is one of the most sacred sites in Hawai`i. Moku`ula was the seat of ancient Hawai`ian royalty and home to the Kihawahine, a woman sanctified as the spirit of conception and embodied as a Lizard-guardian of fresh waters. Little is left of the ways that kept the waters pure and ceremonies of Moku`ula vibrant. What did survive colonization and missionization is due to a line of cultural practitioners who gave their lives to protect and maintain the ancient ways. Alice Kaehukai Shaw (1867- 1956) was the last of this line. Dr. Apela Colorado joined efforts with her husband Keola, Moku`ula sacred site guardian, to research and recover the narrative of Alice’s life. Inextricably linked to the greater story of the guardian-spirit she served, and through the individuals and communities revitalized by these stories, Alice continues her work of bringing life through the waters.

Dr. Apela Colorado (Oneida-Gaul) is the Founding Director of the Worldwide Indigenous Science Network, a cultural nonprofit created in 1989 for the revitalization, growth and worldwide exchange of traditional knowledge. Frances Santiago (Tagalog-Ilonggo-Ilokano), MA in Indigenous Mind and PhD candidate in Women’s Spirituality, co-presents.

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Who’s Presenting at the March Conference? Max Dashu

Snake Women: a global perspective

This is a visual presentation on goddesses, ancestors, shapeshifters, priestesses and shamans around the world, with the focus on snake iconography. Among the sources we’ll examine are rock art from Australia, Brazil, Utah, and South Africa; seals from eastern Iran, Canaanite gold, Egyptian stelae, Aztec statues, and masks from Nigeria to Ivory coast. We’ll look at the continent-spanning theme of the woman who grasps serpents in both hands, and also she who is belted with snakes, and discuss the python oracles of Greece, Malawi, and Surinam.  We’ll also view snake goddesses from Egypt, Mexico, Germany, China, India, Benin Republic; and snaky women from Mali’s Inland Delta of the Niger, Argentinian bronzes, Frankish ivories and Romanesque churches. It’s a free-for-all of fairies and saints, Chinese shamans, Mami Wata and Santa Marta la Dominicana.

Max Dashu founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970 to research global women’s history and heritages. From her vast collection of images, Dashu has created over 100 visual talks. Her books are Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion (2016) and Deasophy: A Coloring Book of Goddesses, Spirits and Ancestors (2017). She has produced two videos: Woman Shaman: The Ancients (2013) and Women’s Power in Global Perspective (2008).


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Presentation Grant Award Winner at Conference: Yuria Celidwen

Tepeyollotl: the Mountainheart. Mesoamerican Myths of the Jaguar and the Mind of Humankind

This paper is a depth-psychological analysis of the mythology and symbolism of the Jaguar and the cloud-forest. Especially, I explore how the Mesoamerican way to dialogue with its unconscious through mythologies and rituals brought a profound sense of the sacred, which was expressed through the glorification of the jaguar and of natural sacred landscapes. The cloud-forest and the jaguar symbol have a prominent place of the in the different Indigenous cultures of the pre-Columbian world.  The importance of these traditions is preserved in contemporary Indigenous groups in Mexico and Guatemala. I examine the impact that climate change and the unsustainable practices of human consumption have on indigenous populations, the ecosystem and the natural species.  I conclude by suggesting solutions that promote a holistic relationship with the environment.

Yuria Celidwen is a native of Chiapas (Mexico). She is a Ph.D. candidate in Mythological Studies and Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, and a graduate from the Contemplative Sciences, Contemplative Psychotherapy, and Yoga and Psychology Programs from the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Sciences. Her interdisciplinary approach bridges reason with emotion, and scientific inquiry with contemplative practices. Her research focuses on mystical traditions, the experience of the numinous, and compassion and ethics for social and environmental justice.   She chairs the Psychology, Culture and Religion section of the American Academy of Religion—Western Region, and is a humanitarian affairs officer for the United Nations in New York.

We are pleased to announce that Yuria is a winner of our Presentation Outreach Grant Award for 2018.

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Who’s Presenting at the March Conference? Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba

Traditional Designs and Contemporary World Patterns: Connections with Prehistoric Images of the Human and the Animal Feminine

In this presentation I examine how feminine images and symbols that blend the human and the animal divine have dominated the visual language of artistic representations, as they developed in Eurasia, the Near East, and the Americas. In particular I focus on embroideries, paper cutouts, hand-woven laces, painted Easter eggs, wood, metal, and leather carvings, as well as on abstract symbols on ritual cloths, folk costumes, and kilims. I pay special attention to the prominent place two female elks/deer, considered the mothers of humanity, as well as the frog, play in these designs.

Since her childhood, Dr. Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba has lived and studied in many countries and continents, and is fluent in seven languages. Different cultures and languages became the subject of her research and her passion. Her cross-cultural, women-centered interests are reflected in her two recent books, The Black Madonna in Latin America and Europe: Tradition and Transformation (UNMP) and Fierce Feminine Divinities of Eurasia and Latin America: Baba Yaga, Kali, Pombagira, and Santa Muerte  (Palgrave), as well as in her numerous presentations and articles around the world.  She is Professor of Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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Kathy Jones & the Nine Morgen Sisters

Kathy Jones, the Nine Morgen Sisters and Animal Mysteries of Glastonbury

“Nine Morgen Sisters dwell on the Isle of Avalon. The most famous of them is Morgen la Fey, Morgana, Moraine, in the Arthurian legends, but she is just one of nine sisters. Over the last 35 years the Morgens have been appearing once again in Glastonbury, England, which is the Outerworld counterpart to the Otherworld of Avalon. Within Her nature they appear in the forms of crows and as weather.”

We are very pleased that Kathy Jones will be a featured speaker for this year’s conference. Her presentation will combine myths and animal mysteries of the land. Kathy is the founder of the Glastonbury Goddess Conference and the author of many books such as Priestess of Avalon, Priestess of the Goddess; The Ancient British Goddess: Goddess Myths, Legends, Sacred Sites, Present Revelation; and most recently Soul and Shadow: Birthing Motherworld.

Kathy describes herself as “a ceremonialist, teacher, writer, wounded healer, initiator, Temple Melissa and sacred dramatist.” Most recently she has helped create the Motherworld Political Party to support “a society where Mother Earth, mothers and the values of mothering – love, care and support for each other, are placed in the centre of life, rather than being left out on the periphery.”

Kathy has lived on the Isle of Avalon in Glastonbury for forty years and loves this sacred land of Goddess.

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Registration Is Open for 2018 Conference

We have now opened registration for the 2018 conference!

Early bird rates apply until Feb. 2, 2018.

Register and renew membership.

See you in March!


Registration is also open for the 2018 Matriarchal Studies Day, March 18,
2017, 9-5.  Learn more and register for this event.
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Dr. Gala Argent to Discuss Horses and Shamanism at 2018 Conference

“Porous Boundaries: Women and Horses in Eurasian Epic Poetry, Shamanism,  Archaeology and Myth”

Keynote presentation by Dr. Gala Argent

Dr. Gala Argent and friends

“The roles of the horse within human cultures are complex and context driven. Horses may be domesticates whose bodies are eaten or used as products. They may be workers, drafted and indoctrinated into human endeavors and utilized for their strength, speed and power to human advantage. They may serve as metaphors and symbolic proxies for human or cosmic properties. Present-day Euro-American scholarly agendas primarily focus upon these human-generated concepts and in doing so view horses merely as objects or sets that are used by humans.

 This misses the point that horses are large and potentially dangerous creatures to whom riders entrust their lives. The relationship between horse and rider is necessarily based upon the subjective experience of two social beings sharing space, time and experiences.

 In this presentation I detail how horses are conveyed as companions and allies across Eurasia through historical narratives, oral traditions and archaeology. I cover the mutual devotion of Alexander the Great and Cyrus to their warhorses, Persian and Kyrgyz epic poetry detailing the exploits of heroes and their named hero-horses, and archaeological evidence of care in human-horse co-burials. I argue that these individuals and communities saw horses as partners, and recognized their agency by attributing intentionality and significance to their actions.” 

Gala Argent is an interdisciplinary scholar and lifelong equestrienne whose work concerns the relational ways humans and other animals come together. She holds a Ph.D. in archaeology, MA and BA degrees in (human) communication studies, and teaches or has taught in higher education departments of art, communication studies, anthropology and animal studies. Her current interests focus on theorizing human-horse interactions and relationships using models of nonverbal and interpersonal communication, and on the ways in which humans and other animals come together in relational, corporeal, temporal and spatial ways to co-create mutually interdependent selves and societies.


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Dr. Elizabeth Wayland Barber to Give 2018 Keynote

“Waterbirds, Water, Women and Place in Archaic European Lore”

Dr. Barber’s works bring together scholarship from a wide range of sources to discuss such diverse topics as textile history as “woman’s work,” culture and migration, the origins of myth in cosmology, and the evolution of modern folk dance from beginnings in ritual and sacred story. Her books include Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years; Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times (1995), The Mummies of Ürümchi (1999), When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth (2004, coauthor with Paul T. Barber) and The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance (2013).

The Dancing Goddesses: Folklore, Archaeology, and the Origins of European Dance won ASWM’s Sarasvati Award for Best Nonfiction Book in Women and Mythology in 2014. Publishers Weekly says of this book,

“Rich with anecdotes and compelling explanations of the origin of many modern customs (such as throwing rice at a bride), Barber’s is an informative and amusing read, often bringing together many diverse sources—traditional stories, illustrations of artifacts, and aspects of popular culture—into an illuminating whole that will serve as a nice introduction for those unfamiliar with the topic, and a valuable reference for scholars of European dance and folklore.”

Dr. Barber is professor emerita of archaeology and linguistics at Occidental College.


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About Our First Publication: Myths Shattered and Restored”

ASWM Anthology

The Association for the Study of Women and Mythology (ASWM) is  delighted to announce the publication of the first of our conference and symposia Proceedings anthology, Myths Shattered and Restored.   This anthology, edited by Marion Dumont and Gayatri Devi, features essays in archaeomythology, place-based wisdom of indigenous peoples, feminist and goddess-centered reworkings of western myths, the Dianic tradition, essays on cross-cultural investigations into goddess myths, and collective goddess deities, to list a few of the themes and topics explored in this collection.  As the Introduction says,

Today’s history becomes tomorrow’s myths. This exceptional collection of essays is a valued contribution toward contemporary feminist and womanist efforts to re-cover the herstory of mythology and to ensure that today’s herstory is not forsaken in tomorrow’s myths. The writings presented in this volume serve to strengthen and support the circle of women and men who share a scholarly passion for sacred myths about women.

Authors include Mara Lynn Keller, Joan Cichon, Arieahn Matamonasa-Bennett, Alexandra Cichon, Mary Beth Moser, Denise Saint Arnault, April Heaslip, Alexis Martin Faaberg, Natasha Redina, Savithri Shanker de Tourreil, Gayatri Devi, and Dawn Work-Makinne.

Purchase Myths Shattered and Restored at  Amazon or Goddess Ink

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2018 “Winter Warmer” Film Screenings

Again this year we are providing the member benefit of special screenings for films by and about women. These films are accessible through the member section of our website. To get the 2018 member access code, join or renew and we will send you the code. To find out more about what we are doing, and to learn more about films we have screened, contact the ASWM film group.

Here are this year’s selections:

The Girl from God’s Country (2014), written and directed by Karen Day

In the 1920s, Nell Shipman was the first female independent film maker to pioneer the nude scene and advocate for animal welfare. Shipman wrote, directed, produced and acted in movies portraying women as self-reliant heroines. This film reveals the forgotten legacy of Shipman and a generation of female silent film pioneers, including rare footage of these women, including minority filmmakers Zora Neale Hurston and Miriam Wong. Geena Davis and women directors discuss gender-inequities Nell and her counterparts faced that perpetuate in today’s film industry.

The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen (2016), a film by Jennifer Abod

For six decades Angela Bowen, classical dancer and teacher, black lesbian feminist activist, and professor has influenced and inspired untold numbers speaking out as strongly for the Arts, Black and Women’s Rights as she has for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The film depicts Bowen’s life across the decades, from the early fifties, with historic footage, photographs and interviews. Bowen’s candid and compelling stories allow us to understand how race, class, gender, age, and sexuality played into her decisions and choices, her mission, and strategies for survival. Passionate Pursuits is intended to challenge and inspire diverse audiences to pursue their own dreams with tenacity and courage, but not for themselves alone.

Let’s Get the Rhythm (2014) a film by Irene Chagall

Music is central to our lives. Mothers soothe their babies with gentle rhythm and melody. Music is one of the oldest arts, a vehicle for learning, present in all cultures. Let’s Get the Rhythm captures girls’ handclapping games from inner city playgrounds and across the world… from every continent… and islands in between. Girls from diverse cultures – from Brooklyn to Tanzania – charm us as they learn and share while expanding their experience. Drawing attention to the social importance of girls’ games, the film features footage from far-flung locations as well as ancient Egyptian reliefs. Let’s Get the Rhythm accentuates the beauty of the beat with compelling observations on the empowering force on the lives of girls, women and humanity.

Once again we will have the films available for a month, until March 7. This year we have adjusted the times of our conference calls to include our friends in the UK. You may see the films at any time, and we hope that you’ll fill out review forms so that we will be able to share comments with the filmmakers.

The call in number is available on the member only page.

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