Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
Ongoing Salons

Every two weeks

Salon #40 - The Gift of Truth in Peace and War

Featuring Paola Melchiori, Kaarina Kailo and Medea Benjamin (CODEPINK) with Genevieve Vaughan.

Moderated by Letecia Layson.

Dec. 17, 2022

Kaarina Kailo, Ph.D.

Kaarina Kailo, Ph.D. and adj. professor of Oulu University, Finland, is a writer, scholar, ecoactivist, politician, ex-professor of women’s studies and a self-made artist who illustrates her books on mythology. She has published hundreds of articles and numerous anthologies or books regarding ecofeminism, the gender impact of neoliberalism, saunas and sweatlodges, Northern women’s culture and mythology, the gift imaginary and the bear religion. She has held women’s studies positions in Canada and Finland, and as senior fellow of the Finnish academy. Most recently, she has become fellow of the Archeomythological Institute’s European branch. She focues on peaceful, egalitarian cultures exploring the myth of Terra Feminarum as the pre-patriarchal world of the North. Currently she also engages in peace studies and was invited as co-chair and plenary speaker to the Bandung-Belgrad-Havana commemorative peace conference in Indonesia.

Medea Benjamin

Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the co-founder of the human rights group Global Exchange. Medea's latest book, War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless War was released in November. She is the author of ten other books, including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control and Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection and Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Her articles appear regularly in outlets such as The Guardian, The Huffington Post, CommonDreams, Alternet and The Hill. Medea can be on twitter: @medeabenjamin.

Paola Melchiori

Paola Melchiori is a Feminist theorist , activist and writer, author of books/videos/articles on feminist issues. She has created nationally and internationally, free spaces of critical thinking, based on the model of the Free Universities. Their main idea is to develop and make visible new paradigms of knowledge based on women’s ways of thinking and knowing, working in an interdisciplinary way across cultures, classes and specializations. She is the founder and past president of The Women’s Free University in Milan, of Crinali, a research and intercultural education association in Milan, of the International Feminist University Network, an international think-tank for women’s critical thinking and education. From the mid eighties she has worked in different African and Latin American countries in women’s education, participatory research and popular education with a Freirian and feminist perspective. During the years of the UN Conferences of the 90ties she has formed a solid International network of feminists working together on these issues. Her main interest is the intercultural collaboration among feminists of different cultures and disciplines. She is the author of several essays on feminist theory, of four books, and of several videos.

Genevieve Vaughan

Genevieve Vaughan (b.1939) is an independent researcher who lives part time in Italy and part in Texas. She created the multicultural all-woman activist Foundation for a Compassionate Society (1987-2005) and the Temple of Sekhmet in the Nevada desert (1992 – ongoing) and she co-created the network: International Feminists for a Gift Economy (2001 – ongoing). Her books are For-Giving, a Feminist Criticism of Exchange (1997), Homo Donans (2006) and The Gift in the Heart of Language: the Maternal Source of Meaning (2015). She has edited Il Dono/The Gift (2004), Women and the Gift Economy (2007) and The Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy (2019). A volume of the Canadian Women’s Studies Journal dedicated to the maternal gift economy has just appeared (2020).

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Letecia Layson

Letecia Layson is a Filipina, Feminist, Futurist, Priestess of Morphogenesis (Form Coming Into Being), High Priestess of Diana; Priestess Hierophant in FOI/TOI-LA. Letecia is one of the founding Mothers of the Center for Babaylan Studies; a member of International Feminists for Gift Economy, Modern Matriarchal Studies Network

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