Women's Sainthood, Ethnicity, and Identity in the Americas with Dr. Oliva Espin - Context Travel

Women's Sainthood, Ethnicity, and Identity in the Americas with Dr. Oliva Espin


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The stories of saints from the Americas and the transformation of their representation provide an illustration of how religious figures and the religious imaginary become important forces in the development of identities and communities. This seminar will explore the lives of female saints, with a focus on saints in the Americas, as well as their impact and legacy.

In the U.S., in particular, the canonization of saints provided an avenue for identity development for Catholics. Interestingly, the first canonized saints on both continents were women. The circumstances of their stories can help us understand the societies and the milieu of women’s lives in their historical times and places and the roles they played for the identity development of their compatriots. We will discuss a diverse curation of saints, such as Rosa de Lima, Frances Xavier Cabrini, Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton, Kateri Tekakwitha, and Mariana de Jesús Paredes (de Quito). Although saints are not typical of the population at large, the pursuit as well as the perception of holiness mirror social values. Saints’ lives shed light upon social issues of their time and place.

Led by a psychologist who is an expert on female saints, Dr. Oliva M. Espín, this interactive seminar will focus on the lives of female saints from the Americas and their impact on the culture of their respective countries. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travel, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how religious figures, become important forces in the development of identities and communities. The circumstances of their stories can help us understand the societies and the milieu of women’s lives in their historical times and places.

Oliva M. Espín is Professor Emerita in the Department of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University and the California School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Espín was a pioneer in the practice and theory of feminist therapy with women from different cultural backgrounds. A native of Cuba, she received her BA in Psychology from the University of Costa Rica and her PhD from the University of Florida. She did post-doctoral work at Harvard University with a fellowship from NIMH. Dr. Espín held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. She has taught psychology of women, psychology of immigrants and refugees, issues of privilege and oppression, psychological perspectives on saints' histories, and other topics. She has presented at national and international conferences and published articles and books on women immigrants and refugees, language in therapy with fluent bilinguals, historical memory and memoir, and feminist psychological understandings of women saints. She recently published Gendered Journeys: Women, Migration, and Feminist Psychology (2015) and Women, Sainthood, and Power: A Feminist Psychology of Cultural Constructions (2020). Her most recent book is My Native Land is Memory: Stories of a Cuban Childhood (2020).

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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P.R.
Women's Sainthood, Ethnicity, and Identity in the Americas

What a fascinating and unique topic for this Context seminar! Dr. Espin's background in psychology and cultural diversity serves to approach the topic of sainthood in a completely new and contextual way for me and apparently other participants. She is a great addition to the Context experts!

T
T.F.R.
Saints In the Americas

Well presented, clearly argued, informative. A great job

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
P
P.R.
Women's Sainthood, Ethnicity, and Identity in the Americas

What a fascinating and unique topic for this Context seminar! Dr. Espin's background in psychology and cultural diversity serves to approach the topic of sainthood in a completely new and contextual way for me and apparently other participants. She is a great addition to the Context experts!

T
T.F.R.
Saints In the Americas

Well presented, clearly argued, informative. A great job