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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Women's stories of ecofeminist activism and artistic expression: A transdisciplinary spiritual feminist inquiry into transformative and spiritual connections
by Kiel, Jeannette Larino Wooden, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2016, 472; 10183257
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores the stories of seven women spiritual-ecofeminist-activist-artists, including myself. It answers the question, What transformative and spiritual connections does one have with her ecofeminist activism and art?

This study connects different ways of knowing from the mind, body, heart and spirit; and it has three significant dimensions. The first dimension—transdisciplinary spiritual feminist inquiry—allows the researcher to interconnect several disciplinary ways of knowing, and it presents feminist ways to inquire about experiences with activism and creative artistic expression. The second dimension—exploration of transformational and spiritual connections—explores how study participants experience spiritual connections within their spiritual-ecofeminist-activist-artwork. The third dimension—inspirational narratives—holds the hope for the reader to connect to these stories, ecofeminist activism, and artwork, and become inspired to become agents of creative social change. After the conclusion of each of the interviews, I created a reflective art-piece, inspired by each artist-activist.

The research methodology combines transdisciplinary inquiry with feminist and women’s spirituality methods. Epistemological approaches are rooted in women’s spirituality and feminism.

The responses of the seven women spiritual-ecofeminist-activist-artists revealed, upon analysis, nine shared themes: Inspiring Others; Finding One's Voice, Connecting to Ancestors, Healing; Honoring/Connecting to Nature, Finding Community, Traveling, Greening Daily Life, and Discovering/Honoring the Goddess. These themes, along with the three main themes—Early Inspiration and Goals, Art and Activism Interconnections, and Spiritual Dimensions—affirm that numerous spiritual and transformative connections exist between their activism and creative artwork, and that these connections are dependent upon the person’s background, history, chosen spiritual-ecofeminist-activist-artwork, and creative media. Their responses indicate that there is a spiritual component to their spiritual-ecofeminist-activist-artwork and that their activism and artwork are interconnected. Their responses show that each of the seven women spiritual-ecofeminist-activist-artists defines ecofeminism in her own unique way, while making connections to nature, women, the sacred feminine or Goddess, and healing. And they utilized art and spiritual sources to heal and regain balance in their lives. The voices in this study, through storytelling, create a space of “multiple consciousness,” where the multi-dimensional voices of the seven women spiritual-ecofeminist-activist-artists are heard and valued.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Keller, Mara L.
Commitee: Biaggi, Cristina, Grame, Tricia
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Philosophy and Religion with a concentration on Women's Spirituality
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Womens studies, Spirituality
Keywords: Activism, Art, Ecofeminist, Social justice, Women's spirituality, Women's stories
Publication Number: 10183257
ISBN: 978-1-369-31512-7
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