Rasa Navickaitė is a Doctoral Candidate in Comparative Gender Studies with a Specialization in History at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
Currently (October 2017 - July 2018) Rasa is a visiting PhD student at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, in Marburg, Germany. Her research stay is financed by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship.
Rasa is also a recipient of the Dissertation Grant for Graduate Students 2017, awarded by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS).
Rasa's dissertation is an intellectual biography of Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994) – a renowned Lithuanian-American archaeologist and an advocate of the theory of the peaceful, egalitarian, gynocentric and Goddess-centered pre-historic civilization of “Old Europe”. The utopian vision of Gimbutas became a source of inspiration for a variety of socio-political movements between 1970s and 1990s, from the transnational Goddess spirituality movement to post-socialist ethno-nationalism. Her person and her writings also played a role in diverse national settings: from the United States where she lived since 1949, to her native Lithuania, to which she maintained a close contact despite the Cold War.
Studying Gimbutas’ life as a transnational life provides an entrance into analyzing the cultural transfers between the West and the East in the twentieth century, beyond the metaphor of the Iron Curtain. Gimbutas’ life and work constitute a perfect site for interrogating the importance of gender in local, national and transnational power-knowledge relationships. This dissertation combines the insights from transnational history and gender studies in the investigation of the reception, interpretation and appropriation of Gimbutas’ persona and her scientific and ideological writings in the context of the Cold War and its aftermath.