Anahita-L Moderator Shuts Down Gimbutas Discussion
The moderator of Anahita-L , a mailing list dedicated to discussing "women and gender in the Ancient Mediterrean world" today shut down (or should I say shut up?) a discussion of the work of the late archeologist Marija Gimbutas, research about the ancient city of Catal Huyuk (in what is now Turkey), and related scholarship about religion and other aspects of culture and women's roles in the ancient Mediterrean world.
The lively but non-flaming thread took place over the last several days in a group used to more soporific discussions. A day or two preceding the discussion shutdown/up, one of the list members asked snarkily (message 1268) if the list had become a New Age discussion list. (For people who don't know the difference between Goddess scholarship and New Age thought, please see "The Goddess vs. the New Age..." by Jacqui Woodward-Smith in the first issue of Goddess-Pages).
In the next post, the moderator responded with the list description:
ANAHITA-L is a scholarly list for the discussion of women and gender in the ancient Mediterranean world. Discussion topics include: women's work, legal status, social roles -- both public and private, intellectual life, religious activities, and men's views on women. The discussions should be based upon historical, archaeological, linguistic, literary and other evidence from the ancient world and the various interpretations of this evidence. There are many interpretations of the source material and we encourage a variety of approaches, including controversial authors such as Stone and Gimbutas. These latter authors may be discussed critically but they are not to be taken as the 'final word' on any topic. Some familiarity with original source material is expected.But he ended this post ended ominously, writing:"we're watching..."
Four days later, at a point at which it seemed that through admirable persistence, several Goddess scholars seemed to be making some headway with factual evidence, the moderator ended the discussion with a post (1288) saying, in part:
It has become apparent that the discussion is no longer about women in the ancient world but rather is about bashing 'academe' (for reasons which seem more 'personal' than 'academic') and not really discussing anything....Since (at least at this writing) the list posts are publicly available, you can read them and decide for yourself whether they are about "bashing academe" or whether this "reason" is an excuse for shutting up a discussion of a subject (and even use of certain words!) uncomfortable for some group members.
As such, and keeping in mind that this is an ACADEMIC list, the current discussion of any approaches which are based on overuse of the suffix -archy shall be considered
closed....Any complaints may be sent directly to me...but I seriously doubt I'll attempt to respond.
TAGS: life news anthropology Anahita-l Marija Gimbutas Catal Hoyuk womens studies Ancient Near East