Anija Hutten Speaker Biog


Autumn Gathering 2017 Speaker

Our speaker at his event will be Anija Hutten. Anija is a feminist historian originally from Canada, and has called this island ‘home’ since 2010. She is passionate about women being able to access history and reclaim their ownership of women’s stories. The stories she has woven together over the past years have helped her better understand the difficulties and joys of living as a woman in the modern world, and she wakes up each day with a deep desire to share that with others. This year, she will be completing her PhD at the University of Cambridge, and will continue researching at the university afterwards. Her thesis, entitled Listening to Birth, relates the history of women’s voices, sexuality and fertility in the ancient world. She has also published work related to midwifery, paganism and witchcraft. Most of her time is spent learning ancient languages and digging around in libraries, but she also loves textile crafts, singing, and taking long walks on the Fens.

This talk will be a time of weaving stories together—stories new and old, far-away and close to the heart. Anija will explore the dark side of the divine feminine principle, focusing on its many forms and movements. She will share some of the names and descriptions of the dark, deep-earth mother found in the ancient near eastern world—from ancient Greece all the way to ancient Iraq. She will discuss how concepts of the dark woman spread from these regions into Europe and influenced the development of pagan religions. She’ll share some reflections on two questions that have been deep in her heart: Why did the concept of ‘goddess’ develop in the Bronze Age, and how might the dark woman have been understood before or beyond the goddess figure? Why were kings and other powerful men so afraid of the dark woman, and why did they work so hard to make the dark goddess extinct?

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