The Growing Edge
About Signs out of Time
About Marija Gimbutas
Goddess Resource Page
DONATE to Belili
Gadon -- interviewed for the Signs out of Time project
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.
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
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
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
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
2006 Brandeis University, Visiting Professor, "Feminism and World
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
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
"World Cultures"; "Art and Religion: An Introduction to
World Religions through the Visual Arts"; "Islamic Art";
"Introduction to Art History"; "The Goddess and Theories
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
"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
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
American Abstract Expressionism"
1973 University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Instructor, Division of Continuing
Myths and Symbols in Indian Art.
1968-1971; 1973 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Lecturer, Department of Public
European and Asian Art
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
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,
"Reflections of a Researcher: My Life’s Journey as Research"
in Research. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa: Xavier Institute of Management
"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
Response (London: Zed Books, 2002) in The Journal of Asian Studies
the Mysteries of the Hirapur Yoginis," ReVisions, Summer
"Visible Religion: An Introduction to World Religions through the
in ed. Arvind Sharma, Religion in the Secular City .Trinity Press
Book Review: Indian Art World in Contention: Local, Regional and National
on Orissan Patta Paintings by Helle Bungaard in The Journal of
Asian Studies, February.
"Revisioning the Female Demon: Lilith and her Indian Sisters,"
John Irwin’s Legacy and the Debate between Metaphysics and Archeological
on the Roots of Indian Monumental Art," in South Indian Studies
ed. S. Murali. Dehli: B.R.
Book Review: The Two-Headed Deer: Illustrations of the Ramayana in
Orissa by Joanna
Williams in American Anthropologist, Fall.
"The Return of the Women Healer." Dialogos, Vol. 1,
"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.
Book Review: Spiders and Spinsters: Women and Mythology by Marta
Weigel in Women
Artist’s News, Spring
"Gifts from the Fire," Crone Chronicles. Autumn
"Concerning the Goddess and the Mystery of Human Sexuality."
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
"Metaphors for Birthing: Towards a New Creation Story for the Age
Environmental Ethics. Denton, Texas: Environmental Philosopy,
Inc. and University of
Review: "Gu Wenda—2000 Natural Deaths:Artist as Provacateur,"
"Sumary of The Once and Future Goddess: A Symbol for Our Time
in The Elmwood
"The Resacralization of the Female body," Snake Power,
Vol. I, #2.
Review: "Geomantic Arts at the Spotted Fawn Gallery," Artweek,
"Krishna: The Divine Child of the Hindus" in Creation Spirituality,
"The Life Cycle of the Goddess at Avebury: The Sacred Monuments of
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
The Once and Future Goddess: A Symbol for Our Time. New York:
Harper and Row.
Review: "Betsy Damon’s A Memory of Clean Water". Arts
"Inscribed Portraits of Santa and Yogis in Mughal Painting."
The Sant Tradition of India.
Hew McLeod and Karine Schomer, eds. Berkeley, University of California
"Dara Shikoh’s Mystical Vision of Hindu-Muslim Synthesis."
Facets of Indian Art. London:
Victoria and Albert Museum.
"The Illustrated Balagopalastuti Manuscripts: A Fifteenth Century
Commentary on the
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
2002 "Lives of the Ancients" Channel 4, United Kingdom
1999 "The Face of God in the 21st Century." Man Alive. Canadian
1993 "Praise Her." Ikon TV, The Netherlands.
SELECTED PAPERS AND PUBLIC LECTURES
"From Blood to Fire: The Changing Culture of the Village Goddess
Indic Religions Conference, New Dehli
"Why the West Needs Shakti as a Feminine Principle," Keynote
Launch, The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Dehli
"Reflections as a Researcher: My Life’s Journey as Research,"
The Doctoral Summer School, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar,
"Perspectives on Indian Art History in America," The Indira
Gandhi National Centre
for the Arts
"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
"The Mother Goddess," Grassroots, Weston, MA
"The Myth of Masculinity in American Culture: What it Means to be
Unitarian Universalist Congration, Andover, MA
"The Vullage Goddess in Orissa," Women’s Studies Research
"What Shakti Means to the Rural Women of India," IAHR Regional
Religions in Indic Civilization, December
"The Impact of Shakti on Indian Women’s Lives: A Contested
Shaktika on the Ascent Reframing Gender in the Context of Culture of India
An International Conference, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts,
"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
"Oh, Holy Mother! Monotheism and Misogyny." Gallagher Lecture
Albright College, Reading., Pennsylvania
"Annapurna Ma: Priestess, Shaman and Healer." Nehru Cultural
"Annapurna Ma, Priestess and Healer: Women’s Agency in the
Folk Culture of
Rural Orissa," 17th European Conference on South Asia, Heidelberg
"The Ancient Goddess: Source of Life and Creativity." Clark
"Women, Art and Creativity,"Gallery Talk, Worcester Center for
"Making Revolution: Re-Presenting the Female Body." Damaged
School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London
"The Gramadevi: A Force for Justice in Village India." Pradumya
Lecture, Bhubaneswar, India
"Update on the Politics of the Goddess." Albright College, Reading,
"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
The Universe, Cuttack, Orissa.
"The Debate between Metaphysics and Archeological Materialism,"
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
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.
"Art, Creatvity and the Sacred: A Women’s Spirituality"
Theological Opportunities Program, Harvard Divinity School.
"The Legacy of Marija Gimbutas," University of Vilnius, Vilnius,
"The Goddess of Prehistory: Recovering our Past to Understand the
Future." Summit of the Future. The Visionary Arts Museum, Baltimore,
"The Dance of Gender." Kuan Yin Gallery, Oakland, California
"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,
"The West Rediscovers the Mother Goddess." Assam State Museum,
"The Ambiguous Relationship between the Image of the Virgin and the
Contemporary Woman Artist." The Virgin Image Conference. Pacific
School of Religion, Berkeley, California.
"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
Museum of Art, San Miguel de Allende , Mexico.
"Themes of Violence in the Mythology of the Masculine in Western
Conference on Myth and Politics. Jung Foundation of San Francisco.
"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,
"Re-emergence of the Goddess in the Cultural Mythology of the West."
of Theosophy. Ojai, California.
"The Women’s Spirituality Movement." International Women’s
San Jose, Costa Rica.
"Women’s Spirituality as a Source of Empowerment" Guatamala
"The Sacred Marriage." Saybrook Institute Colloquium. San Francisco,
"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
Cultural Integration Fellowship, San Francisco.
"The Hindu Goddess Shasthi: Protector of Mothers and Infants."
Conference on Women and Goddess Traditions, The Claremont Graduate School.
"The Female Image and the Sacred Female in Western Art." Portland
State Uni versity,
"The Iconography of the Sacred Female in Western Art." Iowa
"Bilvamangala’s Pilgrimage: Krishna’s Northward Journey."
Conference on Religion in South India." San Francisco.
"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
of Partnership, Heraklion, Crete.
"The Presence of the Sacred Female in the Iconography of World Religions."
Center for World’s Religious Traditions. Graduate Theological Union,
"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,
"Lachaise and His Muse: The Mystery of the Archetypal Female."
Bedford Gallery, Walnut
"Dialogue with Susan Griffin." Conversations with Authors. Larkspur,
"The Artist as Shaman in Contemporary Western Culture." Conference
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."
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.
the Sacred Iconography of the Female in Contemporary Woman’s Art"
Mt. Holyoke College.
"Reclaiming the Sacred Iconography of the Female in Contemporary
Brooklyn College, Master of Fine Arts Program.
"Reclaiming the Sacred Iconography of the Female in Contemporary
The Fresno Art Museum.
"Resurrecting the Body and Resacralizing Sexuality." Keynote
History Week., University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
"Sex, Power and Politics: Women Artists Crossing Bounaries to Map
Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco.
"Male and Female: Love and War in the Myths and Symbols of Western
Gulf Seminars, Fresno, California.
"Conservation’s Roots: The Once and Future Goddess." Conference
on Philosophy and Ecology. University of North Texas.
"The Once and Future Goddess." The Commonwealth Club, San Francisco.
"The Goddess and Nature in Hinduism." Gaia Consciousness Symposium,
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,
Symbolic Language of the Female: From Cave Art to the Hollywood"
Women’s Caucus for Art, College Art Association Annual Meeting,
"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."
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
"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.
"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."
Committee for South Asian Art. Nelson Gallery, Kansas City.
"Creating Sacred Spaces: The Ritual Drawings of the Women of India."
Opportunities Program, Harvard Divinity School.
"The Women Artists of Mithila." Festival of India. Mt. Holyoke
"The Temple of Solomon: Transformation and Adaption of Symbols in
Christianity, and Islam." Art Department. The University of Michigan,
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".
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."
South and Southeast Asian Language and Literature, and Art History, University
"The Iconography of the Feminine in the Hindu and Judeo-Christian
Contrasting Models for the Role of Women in Society." Hobart and
"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.
"Dara Shikoh: Mystic as Patron." Symposium, Festival of India.
Victoria and Al bert
"The Balagopalastuti: An Illuminated Manuscript as an Expression
Conference on South Asian Religion. Philadelphia.
"Krishna in Gujarat: An Accommodating Iconography." American
Committee on South
Asian Art, University of Minnesota.
"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.
to Signs out of Time Bios page