Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership

Former Visiting Scholars

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; Coordinator 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. 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. 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. 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.