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Elinor Gadon -- interviewed for the Signs out of Time project



Elinor W. Gadon is an art historian specializing in Indian art and culture and the analysis of images and symbols in their cultural context. She has taught at Harvard, Tufts, and the New School for Social Research. Elinor's book The Once and Future Goddess - A Sweeping Visual Chronicle of the Sacred Female and Her Reemergence in the Cult was released by Harper Collins in 1989. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Belili Productions is offering Elinor's complete interview on VHS as part of the Behind the Screen series -- see our ORDER PAGE for details.

CURRICULUM VITAE

EDUCATION:

1974-1984 University of Chicago, Ph.D. Committee on the History of Culture
Major: Indian Art; Minor: Chinese Art
Dissertation topic: "The Balagopalastuti Manuscripts and Early Krishnabhakti in Gujarat"

1970-1974 University of Massachusetts, Amherst. M.A. History of Art
Major: Indian Art. Minor: Islamic and Modern Art

1964-1967 University of New Hampshire. 24 graduate credits
Focus: Medieval European Civilization

1947 University of Michigan, B.A. English

GRANTS AND HONORS:

2006 Women’s Caucus for Art, Lifetime Achievement Award

2005-2006 Laurie Foundation Scholar

2002-2006 Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center, Visiting Scholar

2004 Veteran Feminists of America. Honored as art historian who changed the world of art California Institute of Integral Studies. Honored as Founding Mother of Women’s Spirituality Graduate Programs

2000-2002 Mills College Women’s Leadership Institute. Associate Scholar
The International Museum of Women. San Francisco, Advisory Council

1983 Marlboro College -- Visiting Scholar in Residence

1974-1977 National Defense Education Act, Title VI
For the study of Hindi language

1973 John D. Rockefeller III Fund. For photography of archeological sites and monuments associated with the life and teachings of the historical Buddha

TEACHING:

2006 Brandeis University, Visiting Professor, "Feminism and World Religions"

2002-2004 University of New Hampshire, Adjunct Professor, "Art of the Far East: China and Japan"; "Art of India," and "Women’s Art of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries"

2001 New College of California, Adjunct Professor. "Feminist Art" and "Women, Religion and Social Change"

2000-2003 Lesley University Israel Extension, Women’s Studies Graduate Program. Visiting Professor. "Women and Spirituality"

1999 California College of Arts and Crafts, Visiting Professor. "The Goddess and Theories of Prehistory"

1992-1999 California Institute of Integral Studies, Professor."Art, Creativity and the Sacred"; "Women, Religion and Social Change"; "Feminist Epistemology"; "Feminist Ethics," "Mythology of Gender"; "The Hindu Goddess: A Phenomenological Approach"; "Archeomythology: The Goddess and Theories of Prehistory"

1998 Mills College, Visiting Professor. "The Goddess: History and Mystery"

1990-1991 San Francisco Art Institute, Visiting Professor. "The Sacred Art of India"; "Hindu Mythology"

1991 Pacifica Graduate School. "Mythology of Gender"

1988-92 California College of Arts and Crafts. Associate Professor, Humanities Program
"World Cultures"; "Art and Religion: An Introduction to World Religions through the Visual Arts"; "Islamic Art"; "Introduction to Art History"; "The Goddess and Theories of Pre-History"

1987-88 Tufts University, Associate Professor, Fine Arts Department. "Exploring India’s Sacred Art"; "Art of the Imperial Mughuls"; "Art and Religion: Introduction to
World Religions through the Visual Arts"

1985-1988 Harvard University Extension. Instructor "Art and Religion: Introduction to World Religions through the Visual Arts"; "The Culture of India"

1985-86 Radcliffe College, Radcliffe Seminars. "Art and Religion: Introduction to World Religions through the Visual Arts"

1984 University of California, Santa Barbara, Associate Professor, Art History Department
"The Art of Japan"; "Japanese Ukiyo-e Uiyo-e Prints"

1982-1984 Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Research Associate and Teaching Fellow. "Jesus and the Moral Life"

1982 New School of Social Research, The Human Relations Center, Instructor. "The Religious Way: A Cross Cultural Exploration of the Sacred Dimension of Human Experience"

1979-1980 Harvard Divinity School. Research-Resource Associate in Women’s Program. "Iconography of the Feminine in the Hindu and Christian Traditions"

1979 National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India. Visiting Professor. Intersession Course for Faculty and Students. "Culture as Style: An Introduction to three styles in
three disparate cultures: Chinese Landscape Painting, Rajput Miniature Painting and
American Abstract Expressionism"

1973 University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Instructor, Division of Continuing Education
Myths and Symbols in Indian Art.

1968-1971; 1973 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Lecturer, Department of Public Education
European and Asian Art

ADMINISTRATION:

1994-1999 California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, California. Director, Women’s Spirituality Ph.D. Program

California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, California. Director of Women’s Spirituality Graduate Program. Development of M.A.and Ph.D. Programs

PUBLICATIONS:

2006:

Bilvamangala’s " Balagopalastuti" and Early Krishnabhakti in Gujarat. New Dehli: Indira
Ghandi Centre for the Arts.

"The Art of Adornment" Catalogue for Barbara Witt Retrospective. Museo-Italiano, San Francisco.

"The Gramadevi in Orissa: The Integrator of Village Life" in David Kinsley Festschrift, ed, Rana Singh

"War is Man’s Business," in The Rule of Mars. Manchester, Vt: KIT.

"Reflections of a Researcher: My Life’s Journey as Research" in Research. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa: Xavier Institute of Management

2003:

"Picasso and the Minotaur" Indian International Centre Quarterly, Summer 2003, Vol. 30, No.1

"Annapurna Ma: Shaman-Priestess to the Goddess" in Facets of Orissan Studies (Special
Edition of Social Studies) New Dehli:, September

Book Review: Duree Ahmed, Gendering the Spirit: Women, Religion and the Post-Colonial
Response
(London: Zed Books, 2002) in The Journal of Asian Studies

2002:

"Probing the Mysteries of the Hirapur Yoginis," ReVisions, Summer

2001:

"Visible Religion: An Introduction to World Religions through the Visual Arts"
in ed. Arvind Sharma, Religion in the Secular City .Trinity Press International.

2000:

Book Review: Indian Art World in Contention: Local, Regional and National Discourses
on Orissan Patta Paintings
by Helle Bungaard in The Journal of Asian Studies, February.

"Revisioning the Female Demon: Lilith and her Indian Sisters," ReVisions, Winter.

1998:

John Irwin’s Legacy and the Debate between Metaphysics and Archeological Materialism
on the Roots of Indian Monumental Art," in South Indian Studies ed. S. Murali. Dehli: B.R.
Printing Co.

Book Review: The Two-Headed Deer: Illustrations of the Ramayana in Orissa by Joanna
Williams in American Anthropologist, Fall.

1996:

"The Return of the Women Healer." Dialogos, Vol. 1, Nos. 2&3.

"Invoking the Presence of the Goddess: Shasthi, Protector of Children in India." in
From the Realm of the Ancestors: Essays in Honor of Marija Gimbutus, ed. Joan Marler.
Manchester, CT: Knowledge, Ideas and Trends.

1995:

Book Review: Spiders and Spinsters: Women and Mythology by Marta Weigel in Women
Artist’s News
, Spring

"Gifts from the Fire," Crone Chronicles. Autumn

1992:

"Concerning the Goddess and the Mystery of Human Sexuality." Opera/Omaha Fall
Festival 1992
. Omaha: Opera/Omaha and Omaha Magazine

"Sacred Places of India: The Body of the Goddess, in Sacred Sites: A Guidebook to Sacred Centers and Mysterious Places in the United States. Ed. Frank Joseph. Llewellyn
Publications.

1991:

"Metaphors for Birthing: Towards a New Creation Story for the Age of Ecology."
Environmental Ethics. Denton, Texas: Environmental Philosopy, Inc. and University of
Texas.

Review: "Gu Wenda—2000 Natural Deaths:Artist as Provacateur," Vox, May.

"Sumary of The Once and Future Goddess: A Symbol for Our Time in The Elmwood
Newsletter
, Winter

"The Resacralization of the Female body," Snake Power, Vol. I, #2.

Review: "Geomantic Arts at the Spotted Fawn Gallery," Artweek, May.

1989:

"Krishna: The Divine Child of the Hindus" in Creation Spirituality, January/February.

"The Life Cycle of the Goddess at Avebury: The Sacred Monuments of Megalithic Britian,"
Women of Power, August.

"Sanctifying the Home: The Ritual Arts of the Women of Bengal." Sacred Dimensions of
Women’s Experience
. Elizabeth Dodson Gray, ed. Roundtable Press.

"The Goddess Tradition in Hinduism." Creation Spirituality September/October.

The Once and Future Goddess: A Symbol for Our Time. New York: Harper and Row.

1987"

Review: "Betsy Damon’s A Memory of Clean Water". Arts Magazine, June/Summer.

1986:

"Inscribed Portraits of Santa and Yogis in Mughal Painting." The Sant Tradition of India.
Hew McLeod and Karine Schomer, eds. Berkeley, University of California Press.

"Dara Shikoh’s Mystical Vision of Hindu-Muslim Synthesis." Facets of Indian Art. London:
Victoria and Albert Museum.

1985:

"The Illustrated Balagopalastuti Manuscripts: A Fifteenth Century Commentary on the
Bhagavata Purana."

1982:

"An Illuminated Manuscript as an Expression of Bhakti, IAVRI Bulletin, School of Oriental
and Afrcan Studies
. University of London.

WORK IN PROGRESS

"The Wounded Minotaur: A Historical Chronicle of the Myth of Masculinity in American Culture"

"The Village Goddess of Orissa, Integrator of Village Life and Her Changing Culture"

TELEVISION DOCUMENTARIES

2002 "Lives of the Ancients" Channel 4, United Kingdom

1999 "The Face of God in the 21st Century." Man Alive. Canadian Broadcasting Co.

1993 "Praise Her." Ikon TV, The Netherlands.

SELECTED PAPERS AND PUBLIC LECTURES

2005:

"From Blood to Fire: The Changing Culture of the Village Goddess in Orissa,
Indic Religions Conference, New Dehli

"Why the West Needs Shakti as a Feminine Principle," Keynote Address, Narivad
Launch, The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Dehli

"Reflections as a Researcher: My Life’s Journey as Research," Keynote Address,
The Doctoral Summer School, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, Orissa

"Perspectives on Indian Art History in America," The Indira Gandhi National Centre
for the Arts

2004:

"The Greening of Macho," Annual Conference of Veteran’s for Peace," Boston, MA:
on "Defeating Militarism and the Politics of Fear"

"The Meaning of the Indian Goddess for Indians and Americans," Ethical Society of
Boston

"The Mother Goddess," Grassroots, Weston, MA

2003:

"The Myth of Masculinity in American Culture: What it Means to be a Man"
Unitarian Universalist Congration, Andover, MA

"The Vullage Goddess in Orissa," Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis
University

"What Shakti Means to the Rural Women of India," IAHR Regional Conference,
Religions in Indic Civilization, December

"The Impact of Shakti on Indian Women’s Lives: A Contested Debate"
Shaktika on the Ascent Reframing Gender in the Context of Culture of India
An International Conference, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, March

2002:

"The Secular Israeli Woman: A Transgressive and Heretical Spirit"
Women’s Studies Research Center, Brandeis University

"Reclaiming the Sacred Female," Institute of Body, Mind and Spirit, Lesley
University"

"Oh, Holy Mother! Monotheism and Misogyny." Gallagher Lecture in Religion,
Albright College, Reading., Pennsylvania

"Annapurna Ma: Priestess, Shaman and Healer." Nehru Cultural Centre,
London

"Annapurna Ma, Priestess and Healer: Women’s Agency in the Folk Culture of
Rural Orissa," 17th European Conference on South Asia, Heidelberg University

2001:

"The Ancient Goddess: Source of Life and Creativity." Clark University

"Women, Art and Creativity,"Gallery Talk, Worcester Center for the Crafts,

"Making Revolution: Re-Presenting the Female Body." Damaged Body Conference,
School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London

2000:

"The Gramadevi: A Force for Justice in Village India." Pradumya Bal Memorial
Lecture, Bhubaneswar, India

"Update on the Politics of the Goddess." Albright College, Reading, PA.

1999:

"The Symbolic Language of the Prehistoric Goddess of Europe." The University of
Malta, Valleta, Malta

"Shakti for the West: India’s Contribution to the Rebalancing of Gender," at the
International Conference on Rethinking Indian Culture for the Twenty-first Century.
The Universe, Cuttack, Orissa.

"The Debate between Metaphysics and Archeological Materialism," Symposium on
New Buddhist Finds in Orissa. Bhubaneswar, Orissa.

"Re-visioning the Female Demon: Lilith and Her Indian Sisters," Panel on "The Dark
Mother: Critical, Comparative and Cross-Cultural Perspectives," at The American
Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida.

"Nancy Spero’s, "Peinture Feminine: A Visual Lexicon of Violence and Celebration."
The Women’s Center, University of California, Santa Cruz.

"A Powerful Vision: Feminism, Social Justice and Women’s Spirituality." Mills College, Oakland California.

"Archetype and Icon: The Goddess and Virgin: The Immutable Symbols of the Female Divine." The Virgin Image Conference, San Juan Batista.

"Mythology of Gender: Healing the War between the Sexes." Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Menlo Park, California.

1997:

"Art, Creatvity and the Sacred: A Women’s Spirituality"
Theological Opportunities Program, Harvard Divinity School.

"The Legacy of Marija Gimbutas," University of Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania.

"The Goddess of Prehistory: Recovering our Past to Understand the Future." Summit of the Future. The Visionary Arts Museum, Baltimore, Maryland.

"The Dance of Gender." Kuan Yin Gallery, Oakland, California

1996:

"Exploring Women’s Power at Midlife and Beyond." Annual Meeting of the
Association for Transpersonal Psychology, Asilomar, California

"Women’s Spirituality in the Nineties." Annual Meeting of the Association for
Transpersonal Psychology, Assilomar, California.

"The Contemporary Woman Artist as Shape Shifter and Healer,"
Women’s Caucus for Art, College Art Association Annual Meeting,
San Francisco.

"The West Rediscovers the Mother Goddess." Assam State Museum,
Guahati, Assam.

"The Ambiguous Relationship between the Image of the Virgin and the Contemporary Woman Artist." The Virgin Image Conference. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California.

1995:

"The Cult of the Mother Goddess: The First World Religion"
Parliment of World Religions, Mexico City.

"The Re-emergence of the Goddess in the Cultural Mythology of the West"
Museum of Art, San Miguel de Allende , Mexico.

"Themes of Violence in the Mythology of the Masculine in Western Culture."
Conference on Myth and Politics. Jung Foundation of San Francisco.

1994:

"The Sacred Iconography of Male and Female in Western Art." California State University, Hayward.

"The Women’s Spirituality: A Fruitful Genre for Publication," Conference on Women, Power and Cultural Difference in South Asia and the International Feminist Book Fair. University of Melbourne, Australia

"Sacred Sexuality." Keynote Address. Conference on Renaissance of the Sacred Feminine." California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco.

1993:

"Re-emergence of the Goddess in the Cultural Mythology of the West." Krotonia Institute,
of Theosophy. Ojai, California.

"The Women’s Spirituality Movement." International Women’s Studies Congress.
San Jose, Costa Rica.

"Women’s Spirituality as a Source of Empowerment" Guatamala City, Guatemala.

"The Sacred Marriage." Saybrook Institute Colloquium. San Francisco, California.

"The Goddess of Prehistory and the Black Madonna." Image of the Virgin Conference.
Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California.

"Re-emergence of the Sacred Feminine in the Cultural Mythology of the West."
Cultural Integration Fellowship, San Francisco.

"The Hindu Goddess Shasthi: Protector of Mothers and Infants." Conference on Women and Goddess Traditions, The Claremont Graduate School. Claremont, California.

"The Female Image and the Sacred Female in Western Art." Portland State Uni versity,
Portland, Oregon.

"The Iconography of the Sacred Female in Western Art." Iowa State University.
"Bilvamangala’s Pilgrimage: Krishna’s Northward Journey." Conference on Religion in South India." San Francisco.

1992:

"The Sacred Marriage and Gender Wars: An Opportunity for Reconciliation;"
The First International Celebration of Partnership, Heraklion, Crete.

"Spirituality and the Politics of Interconnection" The First International Celebration
of Partnership, Heraklion, Crete.

"The Presence of the Sacred Female in the Iconography of World Religions." East-West
Center for World’s Religious Traditions. Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California.

"The Re-emergence of the Mother Goddess in the Cultural Mythology of the West." Annual
Lecture. Department of Religion, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia.

"Images of Women: A Cross-Cultural Exploration." The Museums at Blackhawk, Danville,
California.

"Lachaise and His Muse: The Mystery of the Archetypal Female." Bedford Gallery, Walnut
Creek, California.

"Dialogue with Susan Griffin." Conversations with Authors. Larkspur, California

1991:

"The Artist as Shaman in Contemporary Western Culture." Conference on Art
as a Healing Force." Continuum, Bolinas, California.

"We Need a New Cosmology." Conference on Religion and Envronment. The University of North Texas.

"The Balagopalastuti Manuscripts: Documents of Devotional Practice." Annual
Meeting of the Committee on Religion in South Asia. Northhampton, Massachusetts.

"Women Artists: Shamans, Healers, and Witches." Northern California Caucus for Art.

"A Woman Artist Embodiment of Her Art" The Hatley-Martin Cultural Forum on Women/
Body/Art. San Francisco.

"Mythology of Gender:Tales of Violence and Wounding." An illsutrated slide lecture sponsored by The Green Party. New College, San Francisco.

1990:

"Reclaiming the Sacred Iconography of the Female in Contemporary Woman’s Art"
Mt. Holyoke College.

"Reclaiming the Sacred Iconography of the Female in Contemporary Women’s Art"
Brooklyn College, Master of Fine Arts Program.

"Reclaiming the Sacred Iconography of the Female in Contemporary Women’s Art"
The Fresno Art Museum.

"Resurrecting the Body and Resacralizing Sexuality." Keynote Address, Women’s
History Week., University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

"Sex, Power and Politics: Women Artists Crossing Bounaries to Map the Nineties."
Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco.

"Male and Female: Love and War in the Myths and Symbols of Western Art." Dry
Gulf Seminars, Fresno, California.

"Conservation’s Roots: The Once and Future Goddess." Conference on Philosophy and Ecology. University of North Texas.

1988:

"The Once and Future Goddess." The Commonwealth Club, San Francisco.

1988:

"The Goddess and Nature in Hinduism." Gaia Consciousness Symposium, California Institute
of Integral Studies, San Francisco.

"The Sacred Geography of India: The Body of the Goddess." Conference on the Spirit of
Place: The Modern Relevance of an Ancient Concept. Uni versity of California, Davis.

1987:

"The Symbolic Language of the Female: From Cave Art to the Hollywood" Women’s Caucus for Art, College Art Association Annual Meeting, Boston.

1986:

"Soul and Art: The Problem of Sacred Iconography in a Pluralistic Culture." Panel discussion on Art, Religion and Spirituality. Cooper Union Institute, New York City.

"The Hindu Goddess: Mata and Shakti: Earth Mother and Cosmic Force." The American
Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Atlanta.

"Visual Manifestations of the Goddess: Form and Function." The Goddess and the Feminine in India: An Interdiscplinary Colloquium. Amherst College.

"The Symbolic Role of the Goddess as a Transformative Agent for Women." Women’s Studies Program, Harvard University.

"Experiencing Krishna," California Institute of Integral Studies.

1985:

"The Illustrated Balagoplastuti Manuscripts: A Fifteenth Century Commentary on the Bhagavata Purana." The Third International Bhakti Conference, Leiden, The Netherlands.

"The Passion of Jesus: Symbols of Revolution in Latin America." The American Academy of
Religion Annual Meeting, Anaheim, California.

"Sectarian Patronage: An Alternative Model for Rajput Painting." Symposium, American
Committee for South Asian Art. Nelson Gallery, Kansas City.

"Creating Sacred Spaces: The Ritual Drawings of the Women of India." Theological
Opportunities Program, Harvard Divinity School.

"The Women Artists of Mithila." Festival of India. Mt. Holyoke College.

"The Temple of Solomon: Transformation and Adaption of Symbols in Judiasm,
Christianity, and Islam." Art Department. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

1984 "An Interdisciplinary Methodology for the Research and Teaching of Art and Religion." Faculty Colloquium, Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara.

"The Balagopalastuti Manuscripts and Early Krishnabhakti in Gujarat". University
of Wisconsin South Asia Annual Conference.

"The Social Meaning of the Erotic: Differing Perspectives in the Visual Arts of East and
West." Atkinson College, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

"The Balagopalastuti Manuscripts and the Origin of Rajput Painting." Department of
South and Southeast Asian Language and Literature, and Art History, University of
California, Berkeley.

"The Iconography of the Feminine in the Hindu and Judeo-Christian Traditions:
Contrasting Models for the Role of Women in Society." Hobart and William Smith
Colleges.

1983:

"A Women’s Art for the Transformation of Culture." Colloquium on Women, Religion
and Social Change. Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard University.

Imaging After the Bomb/Broken Connections." International Conference. Law and Lawyers in Arms Control and Peacemaking, Harvard law School.

"Women and Religion in India" and "Women’s Ethics and Social Justice: An International Perspective." Littauer Lecture on Religion. Marlboro College, Marlboro, Vermont.

1982:

"Dara Shikoh: Mystic as Patron." Symposium, Festival of India. Victoria and Al bert
Museum, London.

1981:

"The Balagopalastuti: An Illuminated Manuscript as an Expression of Bhakti."
Conference on South Asian Religion. Philadelphia.

"Krishna in Gujarat: An Accommodating Iconography." American Committee on South
Asian Art, University of Minnesota.

1980:

"The Auspicious Goddess: Image, Myth and Ritual." Joint paper with Frederique Marglin.
Conference on Art and Religion, Smith College.

"Feminist Art: The Body Politic." Radcliffe Forum, Harvard University.


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