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Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership

Visiting Scholars

   Sr. Ananda Amritmahal, rscj

Sr. Ananda Amritmahal, rscj was the Visiting Scholar for Spring '12. She is Vice-Principal (Administration), Head of the Department of English, Sophia College, Mumbai; Co-ordinator of the Sophia Centre for Women's Studies and Development, Dean of the Sophia College Hostel, and Vice-Principal (Admin.) of Sophia College.

Objective: To examine the work of women mystic poets, across different religious traditions, to explore points of similarity between them; to show how their lives and their poems reveal a sublime disregard for the conventions of their time, for the norms and restrictions laid down by a heavily patriarchal society and an extremely hierarchical religious tradition; and to indicate those aspects of their work that offer insights relevant to the world today.

   Veerle Draulans, Ph.D. 

Dr. Draulans was the Visiting Scholar for Spring '11. She is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Culture Studies at Tilburg University.  The core theme of her research domain is Gender, Religion, and Civil Society with a special focus on the role of leaders (m/f) in social movements.

Objective: To develop a theoretical framework on the question of whether, and if so, under what conditions, religion and belief can contribute to a stronger visible presence of women in public life. Can religion contribute to the active, empowered citizenship of women? This concern is often embodied by social movements. Interesting in this context is an analysis of male and female leadership in social movements as part of civil society. 

   Maaike A.C. de Haardt, Ph.D.

Dr. Maaike de Haardt was the Visiting Scholar for Fall '09. She is a professor for Religion and Gender (Catharina Halkes/Unie NKV Chair), Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands and she also lectures in systematic theology and gender studies at the department of Religious Studies and Theology at Tilburg University. While at the Gannon Center she worked on a monograph on a theology of everyday life. In this research project she emphasizes the importance of concrete everyday experiences, by describing and analyzing such themes as food, eating, gardening, but also literature, arts, and the city, as a starting point for reflections on the nature and meaning of religion. Taking serious spiritual and religious experiences in and through the everyday life will lead, so she hopes to demonstrate, to a transformation of dualistic and gendered religious concepts and images of - among others - divinity and the sacred. 

   Ulle V. Holt, Ph.D.

Dr. Ulle V. Holt was the Visiting Scholar in Spring ’05.  Dr. Holt received her Ph.D. from Brown University; participated in Radcliffe College Seminars and Literature and Fiction Writing Seminars, 1982-1990; and was Harvard University, Special Student in the Graduate School of Arts and Science, 1990-1991. She is compiling case studies of female political defiance, resistance and incarceration in the 20th century from the Soviet Gulag to the Holocaust as well as in more recent times in such diverse places as Argentina, Egypt, Morocco, China, Cambodia, the Middle East and the United States. Dr. Holt’s goal is to complete for publication an anthology of these narratives, utilizing sources which include not only historical texts, documents, letters, diaries and autobiographies, but also works of fiction and poetry in order to put into new perspective the commonalities and the differences of these women’s experiences.

   Mary Elsbernd, OSF, Ph.D., S.T.D.

Dr. Mary Elsbernd, OSF, Ph.D., S.T.D. requested an opportunity to participate in the Visiting Scholar’s Fall ’04 program as she finished her term as the director, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago. An associate professor in IPS, she received her Sacrae Theologiae Doctor in Moral Theology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and her Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Magna Cum Laude. Elsbernd pursued research in social ethics and social justice. Questions concerning women’s leadership and contributions shape her research in these fields; her fellowship included an exploration of the contributions and leadership of women both in their professional social ethical publications and in their social justice practices. The first dimension of the research will look at the social ethics as an academic discipline in which an increasing number of women contribute through their scholarship and their leadership.

   Susan Ross, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Ross spent the second semester of the academic year 2003-2004 at the Gannon Center as a Visiting Scholar from Loyola University Chicago. A professor in the theology department, she had a semester leave and desired a quiet place to continue her research and writing in Chicago. Dr. Ross stated that her work was an attempt to see what difference a feminist perspective makes in thinking theologically about beauty and justice. She examined the writings of 18th-century American Protestant Jonathan Edwards and the 20th-century Swiss Roman Catholic Hans Urs von Balthasar and other theologians to see how it is that God’s beauty inspires human beings to live it in their lives and how gender plays an unacknowledged role in their thinking.

   Christine De Vinne, Ph.D.

Christine De Vinne, Ph.D., arrived at the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership from Ursuline College, Cleveland, Ohio, where she is the Dean of the College of Arts and Science. She received her Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University; her research and teaching interests center on American literature, women’s life-writing, critical and rhetorical theory and multiculturalism. De Vinne has a series of published articles; "Ben’s Tale: Doris Lessing’s Mythic Anti-Biography," Doris Lessing Studies was published in 2004. She is a conference presenter, an experienced teacher and administrator, and active in professional and community service, as well as the recipient of various awards and honors. De Vinne is a member of the Ursuline Community. While at the Gannon Center, she was refining the research for and drafting a chapter on the role of confessions in the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials, where women represented 80% of the accused and 95% of the convicted. Her project, "Women, Witchcraft, and the Wiles of Confession: Salem, 1692" examined, in tandem, two areas of historical concern to women, witchcraft and confession. Part of a larger book-length manuscript tentatively titled Caught in the Act: Confessions in American Autobiography, this project focuses on ways in which at least 40 women accused of witchcraft borrowed from the religio-legal tradition of confession to save themselves from execution in colonial Salem.

   Ann M. Harrington, BVM, Ph.D.

Dr. Ann M. Harrington, BVM, made a short trip across Loyola University Chicago’s campus to take up residence in the Gannon Center for the 2001-02 academic year. An associate professor of history, with a specialization in Japanese history, she took a leave to work on a new "popular" history of her congregation, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her work focuses on Mary Frances Clarke and the first founding members who came to the United States from Ireland in 1833.

   Patricia C. Crennan, J.D.

Ms. Crennan joined the Gannon Center for four weeks in the spring 2001 from Parramatta, Australia, where she is a member of the Policy and Research Unit, Office of Executive Director, Catholic Education Office in the Diocese of Parramatta. Her focus while at the Gannon Center was refining their Women in Leadership Project as the Office anticipates strategic planning based on this initiative, and working on a schema for integrating vision, mission, research and policy into a strategic and reflective framework. Ms. Crennan had opportunities to meet Gannon Scholars in addition to meeting faculty and educators from different departments and enjoyed conversations and discussions that enhanced her own research and expanded her views.

   Frieda M. Mangunsong

Ms. Mangunsong was a Fulbright scholar from Jakarta, Indonesia, and was at the Gannon Center in spring 2000 as a visiting scholar. She is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Indonesia and is completing the requirements for her Ph.D. degree. The Visiting Scholars Program supported her dissertation research. Her focus during her time at the Gannon Center was a preliminary examination of the characteristics and background of women leaders in different organizational settings, which is collaborated into the primary research purpose, identification of the dynamic of characteristics and experiences that make women leaders, as a means of empowering Indonesian women to become leaders in their society. Ms. Mangunsong enjoyed the opportunities of interacting with the Faculty Fellows and presenting her early findings to staff members and university researchers.

   Kathleen Cloud, Ed.D.

Dr. Cloud joined the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership for the fall 1999 as a visiting scholar from the University of Illinois-Urbana, where she is an associate professor in the Departments of Human Development, Agricultural Economics and Women’s Studies. Her focus was on two principle projects while in Chicago. The first was a book of memoirs, to be edited for publication by Irene Tinker, former chair of women’s studies at the University of California, Berkeley, which focuses on women’s issues and progress during the feminist movement from 1975 to 1985. Another project was a large theoretical piece that explores how the shifts in mothering behavior has served as a driving force in economic and social development during the last 500 years. Dr. Cloud also served as a guest speaker and panelist at events throughout the semester.


Gannon Center · Piper Hall · 1032 W. Sheridan Road · Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: (773) 508-8430 · Fax: (773) 508-8492 · E-mail: gannoncenter@luc.edu

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