Friday, June 9
The Feminine Mystic: American Prophetesses and the Politics of Religious Experience hosted jointly by Bard College at Simon’s Rock and Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon.
Marking the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State in 1917, The Feminine Mystic is an interdisciplinary conference exploring the significance of women’s religious authority in American political and cultural contexts from the early republic through the long nineteenth century. Special consideration will be given to the Shakers’ celibacy and gender separation in relation to their efforts to establish women’s authority from their landing in New York from Manchester in 1774.
The Shaker experience illuminates the troubled, contingent, and fundamentally disunified idea of an American union in contour and counterpoint, and in prologue to the 19th-century heterodoxies of Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen White, Helena Blavatsky and other women whose political agency took forms of ecstatic prophecy, alternative theology, and visionary epistemology. Diverse in doctrine, these women align in their similar relation to structures of power and strategies for critiquing those structures.
Poet, writer, and feminist icon Eileen Myles will deliver the keynote speech.
NOTE: Registration, lodging, and schedule information will be posted shortly.