The idea of a free gift economy has become important in the movement for alternative economics, however the connection with women and especially with mothers has not been widely understood. The conference “The Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy,” held in Rome in 2015, brought together women and men from around the world to discuss this important issue.In a moment when the values of Patriarchy and the market seem to have triumphed, the values of mothering and care are more sorely needed than ever. This book explores many aspects of the gift paradigm from a variety of points of view, taking into account theory and practice, activism and spirituality, as well as the experience of Indigenous societies North and South where maternal values are still at the centre for both women and men. Readers will find abundant evidence of ways of thinking and being that are possible beyond the Patriarchal Capitalism that is now threatening the existence of life on Mother Earth. The book is divided into four sections: Theory, Practice, Practice in Non-Western Realites and Spiritualities. Articles are by well-known scholars and activists from around the world and include: Luciana Percovich, Mariam Irene Tazi-Preve, Erella Shadmi, Simone Woerer, Susan Petrilli, Kaarina Kailo, Heide Goettner-Abendroth, Barbara Alice Mann, Coumba Touré, Diem LaFortune, Vicky Noble, and many more.
Genevieve Vaughan has been working for many years on the idea of a gift economy founded on mothering and being mothered as the basis of an alternative worldview and way of life. She created the international all-women activist Foundation for a Compassionate Society based in Austin, Texas (1987-2005), one of the continuing projects of which is the Temple of the Goddess Sekhmet in Cactus Springs, Nevada, founded in 1992. She also initiated a network: International Feminists for a Gift Economy (2001 to present) whose members give presentations on the gift economy at conferences worldwide. Genevieve lives part time in Rome, Italy, and part time in Austin, Texas. Many of the videos of the gift economy conferences, a film on the most recent one, “The Maternal Roots of the Gift Economy,” a film on Genevieve’s life, “Giving for Giving,” as well as relevant articles and resources can be accessed free on her website: www.gift-economy.com. Her published books include For-Giving: A Feminist Criticism of Exchange (1997); Homo Donans (2007); and The Gift in the Heart of Language (2015). She has edited two anthologies The Gift/ il Dono: A Feminist Analysis (2004) and Women and the Gift Economy: A Radically Different Worldview is Possible (2007). She is presently working on her autobiography.