'Gynocentric India and Visions of Kali: A Liberatory Philosophical Praxis'

Saxena to present Luther College Religion Forum lecture Feb. 28

Neela Bhattacharya Saxena, professor of English and women's studies at Nassau Community College, N.Y., will present a Luther College Religion Forum Lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 in the Recital Hall of the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther campus.

Her lecture, titled "Gynocentric India and Visions of Kali: A Liberatory Philosophical Praxis," is open to the public with no charge for admission.

The lecture will focus on the "Divine Feminine" of Indic culture and traditions. Saxena will present images of the goddess Kali and discuss the role she plays in Indian women's lives, which has been ignored and devalued over time. Saxena hopes her examination of visions of Kali in the psyche of the Indian people will not only help validate the fullness of women's existence but create a harmony between women and men by setting aside the divide created by patriarchal conditioning.

After earning a doctoral degree from Allahabad University in Allahabad, India, Saxena moved to the U.S. in 1986 to follow her dream of teaching. In addition to her positions at Nassau Community College, she is a visiting faculty member at the Center for India Studies at Stony Brook University, N.Y.

Saxena is heavily invested in the humanities, teaching courses on American, British and South Asian literature, the history of ideas and women's studies. Her professional interests include literature, religion, philosophy and critical theory.

For the last 10 years, she has been a member of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature. Her papers have been presented at a number of conferences around the world.

Saxena currently resides in upstate New York with her husband and two children.