Rasa Navickaitė

Year of Enrollment: 

Rasa Navickaitė is a Doctoral Candidate in Comparative Gender Studies with a Specialization in History at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.

During her PhD, Rasa has received the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship, which financed her research stay at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, in Marburg, Germany (October 2017 - July 2018). She has also received the CEU DRSG (Doctoral Research Support) grant, which enabled her research stay at the Research Center for Historical Studies, University of Groningen, the Netherlands (September-December 2018).
Rasa's research has also been supported by the Dissertation Grant for Graduate Students 2017, awarded by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS) and the Lithuanian Foundation scholarship.
Currently Rasa is on the CEU write-up grant (February-July 2019).

Rasa's dissertation is a transnational biography and reception history of Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994) – a renowned Lithuanian-American archaeologist and an advocate of the theory of the peaceful, egalitarian, gynocentric and Goddess-centered prehistoric 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 and "imaginary geographies" 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 life-writing, 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.