This course on global women’s history, archaeology, iconography, and orature is based on the ongoing research of Max Dashu. We look at the cultural record for all kinds of knowledge, uncovering what has been hidden from us. We retrace women’s spiritual heritages: ceremony, arts, sacred dance, chant, ceremony; medicine women, seers, healers, priestessses and elders; goddesses, spirits and ancestors; symbols, cosmologies, and philosophies.
We also track the interwoven strands of domination: patriarchy, conquest, slavery, class systems, colonization and racism. We examine how women's power has been repressed and demoted, female punishments, witch hunts, and socialization into male supremacy and white supremacy. And of course women’s resistance is important: the female rebels and mavericks, activists and freethinkers who defied patriarchal and colonial oppression.
Even more important we delve into the matricultural societies / Mother Law. What do egalitarian and communitarian cultures look like, and where can we find evidence for women’s public leadership, the authority of women’s councils in diplomacy, kinship and decision-making? How are these intertwined with female economic and technological contributions and achievements, artistry, music, orature and culture-making?
Women drummers. Builders. Warriors. Lawgivers. Elders. Ancient female figurines, statues, paintings. Ceremonial regalia and body painting. Motherpots, weaving, basketmakers. Ethnohistories and comparative religion; what historical linguistics can tell us. New finds in archaeology, genome studies, and other relevant fields.
Course subscription includes informational posts, photo essays, links, and discussion, and monthly visual livecasts via Zoom. Starts Jan 3, 2021. Save via the discounted annual subscription, but you can join any time.
Max Dashu founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970 to research and document global women's history, reflecting the full spectrum of the world's peoples. She uses images to teach, scanning the cultural record: archaeology, history, art, orature, linguistics and spiritual philosophies. From her collection of some 50,000 images, she has created 130 visual talks on female cultural heritages, foregrouding Indigenous traditions, with attention to patterns of conquest and domination. She is internationally known for her expertise on ancient female iconography, matricultures and patriarchal systems, medicine women and shamans, witch hunts, and female spheres of power.
Dashu's legendary visual talks bring to light female realities usually hidden from view, from ancient female figurines to women leaders, priestesses, clan mothers, philosophers, warriors and rebels. Her courses scan the cultural record—archaeology, history, art, orature, linguistics, and spiritual philosophies—making this knowledge more accessible to all education backgrounds.
Dashu has been presenting her visual talks for more than four decades, at universities, conferences, museums, community centers, bookstores, galleries, libraries and schools, in North America, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Britain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Austria, Australia, Mexico and Guatemala.
Max Dashu's book Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Religion, 700-1000 (Veleda Press, 2016) has been acclaimed as a sourcebook on European ancestral traditions. Her forthcoming Pythias, Melissae, and Pharmakides: Women in Hellenic Culture will be the second book in her 16-volume series Secret History of the Witches.
Dashu has published in various journals and anthologies, including Goddesses in World Mythology (Praeger 2010) and the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religion (ABC-Clio 2018). She created two videos: Women's Power in Global Perspective (2008) and Woman Shaman: The Ancients (2013). Her daily posts on the Suppressed Histories Facebook page are followed by 181,000 people, and 72,000 more have viewed her articles on Academia.edu.