Ms Kavita Maya
BA (KCL), MSc (LSE)
I am a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Study of Religions department at SOAS, researching in the interdisciplinary field of gender and religion. I hold an MSc in Gender from LSE, and a BA in Philosophy from King's College London.
My thesis analyses the relationship of feminist and racial identity politics to the Goddess movement in Britain. Recent academic research indicates a gradual depoliticisation from the radical feminist context which initiated the emergence of the western Goddess movement in the 1970s and 80s. Taking into account conflicting representations of politicality in the movement’s shared Enlightenment origins with Neopagan and New Age religion, my doctoral work aims to trace the political contours of contemporary British Goddess spirituality from the critical perspectives of gender, race and class.
In 2013-14 I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Glastonbury, Somerset, a significant hub for alternative spirituality in Britian and further afield. The town is currently home to an internationally visible Goddess community centred around a Neo-Pagan Goddess Temple. I have also recorded interviews and collected oral histories as part of my research on the UK Goddess movement, both in terms of its development and political involvements.
‘Engendering Difference: The (Post)Colonial Politics of Goddess Spirituality’. Religion, Gender and Body Politics: Postsecular, postcolonial and queer perspectives, Utrecht University, 12 – 14th February 2015.
‘Invoking the Sacred Land: Indigenous Goddesses and the Politics of Belonging in Glastonbury and Europe’. Religion and Pluralities of Knowledge (EASR/NGG/IAHR Conference), University of Groningen, 11 – 15 May 2014.
‘Ethnocultural Politics in Contemporary Goddess Spirituality’. 6th Israeli Conference for the Study of Contemporary Religion and Spirituality, Tel Aviv University, 23rd April 2014.
‘Disciplinary Feminisms? Religion, (Post)secularism, and the Feminist Subject’. Smashing the Patriarchy in 100,000 Words? Feminism in Academic Theses, University of Dundee, 13th January 2014.
‘The Emergence of Contemporary Western Goddess Spirituality: Feminism, Romanticism, and the Enlightenment’. Ways of Knowing: Second Annual Graduate Conference on Religion, Harvard Divinity School, 25 – 26 October 2013.
International Association for the Study of Religion and Gender (IARG)
BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group (SOCREL)
Women Scholars Network (IAHR)
The Oral History Society
Sibéal (Irish Feminist and Gender Studies Network)
Critical theory, gender and religion, feminist theory, postcoloniality, critical race theory, countercultural spirituality, New Age, Neo-Paganism, feminist spirituality, the contemporary Goddess movement, spirituality and politics, activism, political subjectivity.