Feminist Gift Economy 
A Maternalist Alternative to Patriarchy and Capitalism  

Feminist Gift Economy
A Maternalist Alternative to Patriarchy and Capitalism

Volume 34, Numbers 1,2

Guest edited by: Barbara Alice Mann, Angela Miles, Sheila Molloy, Chang Pilwha, and Genevieve Vaughan


Contributor Notes

Guest Editors

Barbara Alice Mann, Professor of Humanities in the Jesup Scott Honors College of the University of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio, usa, has published over 250 published articles and chapters and fifteen books, the latest two of which are President by Massacre: Indian-Killing for Political Gain (2019) and Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America (2016). Other works include The Tainted Gift (2009), on the deliberate spread of disease to Natives by settlers as a land-clearing tactic; George Washington’s War on Native America (2005, paperback, 2007); Daughters of Mother Earth (2006, paperback as Make a Beautiful Way, 2008); and her internationally known Iroquoian Women: The Gantowisas (2000, 2004, 2006). Dr. Mann regularly speaks at conferences, nationally and internationally. An Ohio Bear Clan Seneca, community recognition, she lives in her Ohio homeland.

Angela Miles is a founding member of Toronto Women for a Just and Healthy Planet, Antigonish Women’s Association, Feminist Network for a Gift Economy and a member of the editorial board of Canadian Woman Studies. She teaches at the oise/University of Toronto where, with Alda Facio, she co-founded the International Women’s Human Rights Education Institute. Her publications include, Integrative Feminisms: Building Global Visions and the edited collection Women in a Globalizing World: Transforming Equality, Development, Diversity and Peace.

Sheila Molloy is a long-time supporter of women and a feminist. She has a background in public and intergovernmental organizations in the area of education. She speaks and reads English and French, having worked in bilingual environments. She has been a board member of Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme since 2007.

Chang Pilwha is Professor Emeritus of Ewha Womans University. She was the first President of the Asian Association of Women’s Studies and the first Chairperson of the apec Senior Officials Meeting (som) Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Gender Integration (aggi) in 1999. She also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Asian Journal of Women’s Studies (ajws) for many years, as the President of the Korean Association of Women’s Studies in 2000, and as the Convenor of the Ninth International Interdisciplinary Congress of Women (ww05) in 2005. As the Director of the Asian Center for Women’s Studies, she led the launching of the Ewha Global Empowerment Program (egep) for women activists of non-profit organizations from Asian and African countries. She was also the Director of the Ewha Institute for Leadership Development, where she conducted programs for women leaders of various fields, including business corporations. Currently, she is working as the Chair of Asian Women Bridge, DorunDorun, which operates skills and leadership training centers in Nepal, Cambodia, and Laos.  She works closely with the Ministry of Gender Equality, the Korean Women’s Development Institute, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (koica) as well as many ngos, including the Korean Women’s Foundation, and the Korean Sexual Violence Relief Center.

Genevieve Vaughan (b.1939) is an independent researcher who has been working on the idea of the maternal gift economy as an alternative to Patriarchal Capitalism for more than half a century. She created the multicultural all-woman activist Foundation for a Compassionate Society (1987-2005) and the network: International Feminists for a Gift Economy (2001 and ongoing). She founded the Temple of Goddess Spirituality dedicated to Sekhmet in Cactus Springs, Nevada (1992 and ongoing). Her books are For-Giving, a Feminist Criticism of Exchange (1997), Homo Donans (2006) and The Gift in the Heart of Language: the Maternal Source of Meaning (2015). She has edited three anthologies Il Dono/The Gift (2004), Women and the Gift Economy: A Radically Different Worldview is Possible (2007) and The Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy (2019) and has written three children’s books. She is the mother of three daughters and lives part time in Rome, Italy, part time in Austin, Texas. See www.gift-economy.com


Renée E. Mazinegiizhigoo-kwe Bédard is of Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe/Nipissing/Omàmiwinini) and French Canadian ancestry. She is a member of Okikendawdt (Dokis First Nation). She holds a Ph.D. from Trent University in Indigenous Studies. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Nipissing University in the Department of Native Studies.  Her areas of publication include practices of Anishinaabeg mothering, maternal philosophy and spirituality, environmental issues, women’s rights, Indigenous Elders, and Anishinaabeg artistic expressions. 

Angela Dolmetsch received her doctorate from the University of London. Her doctorate thesis is on Women in Colombian Politics: Three Case Studies. She is the founder of the Eco-village Nashira; International Honourary Life President of the International Federation of Women Lawyers; and hostess of the weekly television program, El Agora. Her publications include: La otra cara del Dólar (Bogotá: Tercer Mundo, 1985); Of Govermnments and Guerrillas (London: Biddles, 1988); and El Hombrecillo que se tragó a Dios y otros relatos (Cali: asomucaf,1999). Forthcoming is: La Mujer en la Politica en Colombia Contemporanea, tres experiencias reveladoras. 

Daniela Falcioni is a professor of social philosophy at UniCal University of Calabria (Italy). Among her pubblications about the gift, see: “To Receive, That Is, to Give,” in The Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy, ed. by G. Vaughan (Toronto: InannaPublications & Education Inc., 2019); «Verteile und schenke und suche nicht, die Gabe zu verrechnen»: Grosszuegig handeln im Islam,” in Die Gabe. Zum Stand der interdisziplinaeren Diskussion (Freiburg: Alber, 2016); “«Du wirst zu essen geben und deinen Fiedensgruß an den richten, den du kennst, und an den, den du nicht kennst». Formen der Gastfreudschaft in der dar al-islam,” in Perspektiven europäischen Gastlichkeit. Geschichte – Praktiken – Kritik (Weilerswist: Velbrück Wissenschaft, 2016); “Das Band und die Bindekraft der Gabe,”  Memoria und Mimesis (Paul Ricoeur zum 100. Geburtstag, Dresden: Text & Dialog, 2013); “Conceptions et pratiques du don en Islam,” in Revue du mauss semestrielle (Vol. 39, n. 1, 2012) ; “Cosa significa donare?” Ed. by D. F. (Napoli: Guida, 2018).

Maura Hanrahan is Board of Governors Research Chair and Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Lethbridge. Her latest book is Unchained Man: The Arctic Life and Times of Captain Robert Abram Bartlett (2018), soon to be translated into Russian. Maura is also an Adjunct Professor with Memorial University’s Environmental Policy Institute.

Nané Jordan, PhD, is a birthkeeper, scholar, artist, mother, and community worker, with a working background in pre-regulation Canadian midwifery. Her mother-centred research explores themes of midwifery, birth, placentas, the gift economy, women’s spirituality, feminist arts, and goddess studies. Nané writes, co-creates, and publishes widely on these topics, including the anthology, Placenta Wit: Mother Stories, Rituals, and Research (2017). She lives in Vancouver, bc, with her husband and two daughters, where she works in the urban Indigenous community as a family preservation counsellor, and loves to admire the gifting, placental roots of West Coast trees and forests.

Kaarina Kailo is Docent of North American Studies and former professor of Women’s Studies at Oulu University, Finland. She also held women’s studies positions at Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Canada. Her expertise includes ecofeminism, indigenous studies, gift economies/imaginaries, the ecosocial impact of neoliberal globalization, ecomythology, and spirituality. Her anthologies and books include Wo/men and Bears: The Gifts of Nature, Culture, Gender; Introduction to Ecopsychology; and finally, Finnish Goddess Mythology and the Golden Woman, Climate Change, Earth-Based Indigenous Knowledge and the Gift. She is active in Finnish politics, a municipal councilor, a senior rights activist and textile artist focused on Finno-Ugric deities.

Miki Kashtan is a practical visionary pursuing a world that works for all, based on principles and practices rooted in feminist nonviolence. Miki is a founding member of the Nonviolent Global Liberation community and has taught and consulted globally. She is the author of Reweaving Our Human Fabric and blogs at The Fearless Heart.

Glenys Livingstone, Ph.D. (Social Ecology), is the author of PaGaian Cosmology, which fuses a practice of seasonal ceremony with contemporary Western science, feminism and a poetic relationship with place. She lives in country Australia, where she also grew up. Glenys is a contributor to several publications including Goddesses in World Culture, edited by Patricia Monaghan (2011), and Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess, edited by Dr. Helen Hye-Sook Hwang and Dr. Mary Ann Beavis (2017). She co-edited Re-visioning Medusa: from Monster to Divine Wisdom with Trista Hendren and Pat Daly (2017), and is the  author of My Name is Medusa (2016), an eco-fable/children’s book. Her website is http://pagaian.org.

Francesca Lulli, PhD in EthnoAntropology, has been collaborating as a research consultant with Grandmother Project since 2010, through carrying out of studies on the program and its results. She collaborates with Genevieve Vaughan and the Feminist Studies Center for the Economy of Gifts in Rome.  She has various study and research interests including education, women’s associations, the gift and alternative forms of economics. She has collaborated with various institutions and NGOs, taught in universities, and written a book and several articles.

Barbara Alice Mann, Ph.D. is Professor of Humanities in the Jesup Scott Honors College of the University of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio, USA. She has published over 250 articles and chapters and fourteen books, the latest two of which are President by Massacre: Indian-Killing for Political Gain (2019) and Spirits of Blood, Spirits of Breath: The Twinned Cosmos of Indigenous America (2016). Other works include Matriarchal Studies: A Bibliography (Oxford 2015; updated 2019), for which Mann combined with Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth; The Tainted Gift (2009), on the deliberate spread of disease to Natives by settlers as a land-clearing tactic; George Washington’s War on Native America (2005), Daughters of Mother Earth (2006, paperback as Make a Beautiful Way, 2008). Her internationally famous Iroquoian Women: The Gantowisas (2001, 2004, 2006) is in its third printing. 

Vicki Noble is a feminist artist, writer, healer, and wisdom teacher, author of eight books, including Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World and The Double Goddess: Women Sharing Power. In the late 1970s, Noble co-created, with Karen Vogel, the round feminist Motherpeace tarot cards revising both divination and world history to include women. In the late 1980s, she founded and directed the Motherpeace Institute in California, and published an award-winning quarterly journal, SnakePower: A Journal of Ancient and Contemporary Female Shamanism. She has travelled and taught internationally, leading pilgrimage groups to sacred Goddess sites around the world and facilitating workshops and seminars; her books are translated and published in numerous languages. She has recently retired from teaching in the Women’s Spirituality Masters Programs at CIIS, New College of San Francisco, and Sofia University in Palo Alto. She adapts Tibetan Buddhist Dakini practices for her Goddess students, holding private intensives for women in Santa Cruz, where she lives near the Monterey Bay.Vicki Noble can be reached at www.vickinoble.com.

Susan Petrilli is Full Professor of Philosophy and Theory of Languages, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy; Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Psychology, Adelaide University, Australia; 7th Thomas A. Sebeok Fellow of the Semiotic Society of America; Fellow of the International Communicology Institute (Washington, dc); international visiting research scholar at the Bob Hawke Institute for Sustainable Societies, the University of South Australia and at numerous universities across the globe. Her main research areas include philosophy of language, semiotics, ethics, linguistics, translation theory, communciation studies. Recent books include: The Global World and Its Manifold Faces (2016); Challenges to Living Together. Transculturalism, Migration, Exploitation (2017); Digressioni nella storia (2017); Significare, interpretare e intendere (2019); Signs, Language and Listening (2019).

Erella Shadmi is the editor of the literary nonfiction anthology The Legacy of Mothers: Matriarchies and the Gift Economy as Post Capitalist Alternatives (forthcoming Inanna Publications, 2020). She is a feminist, peace and anti-racism activist, and scholar living in israel. She co- founded Kol ha’isha (Jerusalem feminist centre), The Fifth Mother (a women’s peace movement), and the Ashkenazi Women’s Group established to contemplate on Ashkenazi racism. She has been active, among other things, in Women in Black, and the Mizrahi Feminist Movement, Achoti. She was a board member of B’tselem and a member of the Truth Commission for the Nakba in the Negev 1948-1960, established by Zochrot organization. She is now active in the Haifa Feminist Center, Isha le’isha, and currently leads the initiatives to establish the Center for Women’s Cultures and co-housing for elderly women. She is also active in two global networks, dealing with gift economy, matriarchal societies, and Indigenous rights and knowledge. Erella is the former head of the women’s studies program at Beit Berl Academic College, a unique program that is open to less-educated women and focuses on marginalized groups in israel. Her numerous published books and articles deal with social change movements, male violence against women, Ashkenaziness, lesbianism, spirituality, the maternal gift economy, and matriarchal societies. As a criminologist and one of the pioneering researchers of the Israel police, she published several critical articles and the first of its kind: a book on police and policing in Israel.

Elena Skoko is a mother, singer, and birth advocate. She is an independent researcher on the topics of maternity and childbirth, as well as matriarchy and the gift economy. She has coordinated the social media campaign #bastatacere: mothers have voice and founded the Obstetric Violence Observatory in Italy. She collaborated with several organizations including who, un ohchr, Human Rights in Childbirth, International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization,cost Action birth, University “Roma Tre.” She is a member of International Feminists for a Gift Economy. Please visit her website, www.singingbirth.com, for more information on her work with mothers.

Mariam Irene Tazi-Preve, born in Innsbruck, Austria, conducts her research at the University of Central Florida. Her areas of research include: Political/Feminist Theory, Politics and Reproduction, Theory on Civilization, European Welfare State. She is the author, coauthor, and/or editor of several books and numerous scientific articles, including Motherhood in Patriarchy (2013) and Fathers Aside (2007). In 2015, she co-launched Boomerang: Journal of Critique on Patriarchy (Austria, UsS.). Her most recent book, The End of the Nuclear Family: Capitalism, Love and the State, was published in German in 2017, and is appearing in English and Italian in 2020/21. Visit her website: https://www.mariamtazi-preve.com/english

Genevieve Vaughan(b.1939) is an independent researcher who has been working on the idea of the maternal gift economy as an alternative to Patriarchal Capitalism for more than half a century. She created the multicultural all-woman activist Foundation for a Compassionate Society (1987-2005) and the network: International Feminists for a Gift Economy (2001–ongoing). She founded the Temple of Goddess Spirituality dedicated to Sekhmet in Cactus Springs, Nevada (1992 and ongoing). Her books are For-Giving, a Feminist Criticism of Exchange (1997); Homo Donans (2006); and The Gift in the Heart of Language: the Maternal Source of Meaning (2015). She has edited three anthologies Il Dono/The Gift (2004); Women and the Gift Economy: A Radically Different Worldview is Possible (2007); and The Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy (2019); and has written three children’s books. She is the mother of three daughters and lives part time in Rome, Italy, part time in Austin, Texas. See: www.gift-economy.com

Irene Friesen Wolfstone holds an ma in Integrated Studies from Athabasca University (2016) and is currently engaged in doctoral studies at University of Alberta where she studies Indigenous matricultures and Indigenous food sovereignty as conditions for cultural continuity and climate change adaptation. She lives on sacred land in Pinawa, Manitoba, located in Treaty 1 territory. Living in a round home is a catalyst for thinking outside the box.

Judith Wouk is a Kohenet Jewish Priestess. She was the final President of the Funeral Information Society of Ottawa and currently chairs the Green Burial and Alternative Dispositions Committee of the Funeral Advisory and Memorial Society of Southern and Eastern Ontario. A student of Kavod v’Nichum/Gamliel Institute, she also follows the positivegifteconomy e-list.


Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Tampa Review, slab, and Gargoyle, and her published books include Walking Twin Cities, Music Theory for Dummies, and Ugly Girl.

Diane Driedger is a poet, visual artist, and educator. Her latest poetry book is Red with Living: Poems and Art (Inanna, 2016). 

Katerina Vaughan Fretwell’s ninth poetry book, which includes her art, We Are Malala, was published by Inanna Publications in 2019. She lives in Seguin, Ontario. 

W.M. Herring lives on rural property on Vancouver Island, in the traditional territory of the T’Sou-ke Nation. She shares this wonderful place with an abundance of wildlife, a few pets, and her husband. Her work has appeared in arc Poetry, Freefall, Geez, Literary Review Canada (LRC), The Nashwaak Review, The Prairie Journal, and Queen’s Quarterly, as well as other journals and anthologies.

“Free verse poetry is a malnourished passion that is taking the lead in her life,” emphasizes K-Lynn. Born and raised in Alberta, K-Lynn has found her home in Calgary. She is a registered social worker who enjoys kayaking, biking, and volunteering.

L.A.R.K. lives in Ontario. She received a Bachelors degree in dance teaching and a Masters degree in dance writing. Her writing has been published in Our Voice, a mental health magazine from New Brunswick. She hopes to return to dancing and painting full time. Cooking fills her current time.

Ilona Martonfi has published four poetry books, Blue Poppy (2009), Black Grass (2012), The Snow Kimono (2015), and Salt Bride (2019). Her forthcoming works include The Tempest (2021). Her writing appears in five chapbooks, anthologies, and various magazines. She is also the artistic director of Visual Arts Centre Reading Series and Argo Bookshop Reading Series and the recipient of the qwf 2010 Community Award

Susan McCaslin is a Canadian poet living in Fort Langley, BC, who has published fifteen volumes of poetry, including her most recent, Into the Open: Poems New and Selected (2017). She has recently collaborated with J.S. Porter on a volume of creative non-fiction, Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine (2018). Susan can be found wandering along the Fraser with her dog Rosie in the presence of Douglas firs, hemlocks, and cedars.

Joanna M. Weston has multiple spiders, a herd of deer, and two derelict hen-houses. Her middle-reader, Frame and The McGuire, was published by Tradewind Books in 2015, and her poetry collection, A Bedroom of Searchlights, was published by Inanna Publications in 2016. Other books are listed on her blog: www.1960willowtree.wordpress.com.

Fran Westwood is an emerging poet of Scottish-settler heritage. She is a graduate psychotherapy student and sales associate at a Native-owned gift shop. She has lived all over Canada, but she writes from Toronto. Fran’s work has been published in the October 2019 “Emergence” issue of CV2, and she actively shares her work in living rooms, editing circles, community readings, and on local stages. Fran is currently working on publishing Kin, her first full-length volume of poetry.

Book Reviewers

Aalya Ahmad obtained her Ph.D. in Comparative Literary Studies at Carleton University (in the same program as Kim Elliott, Libby Davies’ partner). She is a nationally known feminist and social justice activist and writer, and the former National Coordinator of the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women’s and Human Rights, as well as a founding member of the grassroots group The Radical Handmaids. Her work on feminist and social justice issues has been published in Our Times, Briarpatch, Atlantis, and Canadian Woman Studies. She lives in Gatineau, Quebec and is presently taking on bullying in the labour movement in her next book.

J. Burbage is a second-year PhD candidate in the Communications, New Media, and Cultural Studies program at McMaster University. She holds a ba and an ma from York University’s Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies program where she focused on sex and subjectivity for the bisexual subject. She is currently engaged in research related to the liberatory uses of the abject in art and body practice from an anti-assimilationist queer perspective.

Wendy Donawa grew up on the unceded Coast Salish territory of the Lekwungen and wsanec nations; she spent most of her adult life in Barbados as an educator and museum curator. Since her return to B.C., her poems have appeared in Canadian literary journals, anthologies, and chapbooks. Her début collection, Thin Air of the Knowable (2017) was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award. A contributing editor with Arc Poetry Magazine, she lives in Victoria.

Debra M. Haak is an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. She recently completed her PhD at Queen’s Law. Her research is motivated by a concern over how law and policy in Canada contend with the different and at times divergent interests of individuals and groups in a diverse society. Her PhD thesis considered the intractable debate over prostitution and sex work policy in Canada. 

Deborah Herman earned her PhD from York University in 2013. She specializes in gender, history, myth, and folktale. She has also taught economics and philosophy at Humber College. She is currently working on a side-project that examines how neurology affects artistic inspiration. 

Philippa Jabouin is a ghostwriter and content creator living in the Ottawa/Gatineau region. In a past life she has worked as a journalist, lawyer, and communications specialist. She has published a few short stories under her own name.

A graduate of the University of Alberta with degrees in Arts and Law, Barbara D. Janusz is the author of the novel, Mirrored in the Caves. She has also widely published short stories, creative non-fiction, poetry, editorials, and book reviews. Barbara resides in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta.

Carol Lipszyc’s book of short stories on children and adolescents in the Holocaust, The Saviour Shoes and Other Stories, (2014) and her book of poetry, Singing Me Home, (2010) were published by Inanna. Her edited anthology of eighty poems on the heart, The Heart Is Improvisational, was published by Guernica Editions (2017). Integrating chants and narrative for esl Literacy students, she authored People Express for Oxford University Press. A chapbook of poems, In the Absence of Sons, is slated for 2020 publication by Kelsay Books. Her web ite can be found at www.carollipszyc.com.

Hannah Maitland is a PhD student in the Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies department at York University. Her research interests currently include sex education controversies and the relationships between generations of feminist women.

Jeanne Maranda is a founding member of CWS/cf, where she remains it’s French language editor. Her life work has been improving woman’s images in the media, in advertising, and breaking down barriers in industry, education, and job equity.

Amber Moore is a SSHRC-funded PhD candidate and Killam Laureate at the University of British Columbia studying language and literacy education with the Faculty of Education. Her research interests include adolescent literacy, feminist pedagogies, teacher education, and trauma literature, particularly ya sexual assault narratives. She also enjoys writing poetry and creative nonfiction. 

Jack Ruttan is a Montreal-based writer and illustrator, who has a distant view of La Ronde from his front balcony. Find out more about him at http://mruttan.ca.

Lesley Strutt is a writer living in Merrickville, Ontario. She has a PhD from McGill and her writing includes poetry, essays, an award-winning play, and novels. Her debut YA novel ,On the Edge, was published by Inanna Publications and Education, 2019. Her first full poetry collection Window Ledge is forthcoming with Inanna in 2020.

Carolyne Van Der Meer lives and writes in Montreal, Canada. She has two published books Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience (2014) and Journeywoman (2017). A collection of poetry, Sensorial, is forthcoming from Inanna in 2021.

Aniko Varpalotai, PhD, is Professor Emerita at The University of Western Ontario, having taught at the Faculty of Education, the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research and School of Kinesiology, and is a life-long fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Ki Wight is a full-time instructor at Capilano University in Vancouver, Canada in the Communication Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies and Motion Picture Arts programs. Her current doctoral work is at Simon Fraser University’s Equity Studies in Education program, and is looking at the relationship between media education and systems of oppression. 

Cover Artist
Shirley McDaniel is a South African artist. The subject of womankind is a recurring theme in her work. Shirley’s images of women symbolize connectedness and inclusiveness. Visit her website at: http://www.art-explorations.com.