Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
Ongoing Salons

Every two weeks

Salon #35 - True Gift Projects vs. Pyramid Schemes

Featuring Cassie Thornton, Lori Amy, and Maya Vasallo

With Genevieve Vaughan. Moderated by Letecia Layson.

Sept. 17, 2022

Cassie Thornton

Cassie Thornton is an artist and activist who makes a “safe space” for the unknown, for disobedience, and for unanticipated collectivity. She uses social practices including institutional critique, insurgent architecture, and “healing modalities” like hypnosis and yoga to find soft spots in the hard surfaces of capitalist life. Cassie has invented a grassroots alternative credit reporting service for the survivors of gentrification, has hypnotized hedge fund managers, has finger-painted with the grime found inside banks, has donated cursed paintings to profiteering bankers, and has taught feminist economics to yogis (and vice versa). Her new book, The Hologram: Feminist, Peer-to-Peer Health for a Post-Pandemic Future, is available from Pluto Press.

More information @ The Hologram and

Maya Vassallo Di Florio

Maya Vassallo Di Florio is the founder of the first modern Goddess temple in Italy. She started the Goddess Temple of Rome, and its community with the intent of creating healthier models of existence, educating participants towards a new social paradigm. She provides courses of study and research based on the matricentric values of care, Gift Economy, peaceful communication, partnership, respect for the planet and love of life in all its forms. She collaborates with La Sapienza University and gives talks and workshops about Goddess Spirituality and Matriarchy throughout Italy and the world. Some projects of international relevance are: "Three Year Training Priestess of the Sea - Priestess of Aphrodite"©, "Re-Activation of :Goddess Ancient Temples and Places", "Roma Goddess Conference"©.

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Lori Amy

Lori Amy is a Professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University, where she research and write about the ways that violence writes our identities. Most importantly, Lori is interested in memory as a work, an activity, that can bring the past into the present in ways that help us imagine new possibilities for the futures we are in the process of making. Lori explores the intersection of narrative and traumatic memory and identity through the theoretical frameworks of feminist psychoanalytic theory and cultural studies. Focusing on trauma as a social affair, her research is interested in the relationship between the individual and society, between personal identity, experience, and memory and public institutions, ideologies, and narratives.

Lori's first book, The Wars We Inherit: Military Life, Gender Violence, and Memory (Temple University Press 2010), is a gesture towards rethinking the binaries that trap us into roles that are killing us: divisions of the world into man/ woman, good/evil, black/ white, inside/outside/ enemy/ ally. Wars maps the relationship between the ideological work of military institutions and violence in the military family in which she grew up. Emphasizing this relation between the public and the private grounds her argument for social and cultural transformation as a political, not simply a personal, matter.

Lori's current book project, ReMembering in Transition: Trajectories of Violence, Structures of Denial, and the Struggle for Meaning in Post-Communist Albania, maps experiences of political violence across three generations in Albania, with particular attention to the transgenerational transmission of trauma and the intersection of the violences of totalitarianism and transition.

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