The handless maiden: Implications of a medieval fairytale for women and men today

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The handless maiden: Implications of a medieval fairytale for women and men today

A presentation by Kaye Gersch

Friday, May 4, 2012 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Venue: The Quaker House, 10 Hampson St, Kelvin Grove
Admission: Members & Concession: $10 • Non-members: $15

This talk is based on the final chapter of Kaye’s thesis, and represents a condensation and amplification of previous work although in a very different form. Although this Tale is essentially about the predicament of women, men are equally represented, and transformed. The feminine body, that of the Handless Maiden, is mutilated at the beginning of the narrative, and healed by the end. This suggests that the patriarchal assumptions which initially wounded her, have been made conscious, and healed. This is done through different feminine modes of restoration – meditation, solitude, prayer, virginity. The final achievement, as posed by the narrative, is a coniunctio. This coniunctio can be read on various levels; within an individual psyche, between men and women, and as commentary on gender relations in our culture. In addition to Jungian thinkers, Kaye calls upon the work of contemporary French philosopher Luce Irigaray. This creates a unique and very contemporary analysis, which goes to the heart of many of our most perplexing questions, especially as women.

Kaye Gersch is an Analytic Psychotherapist of more than 20 years standing, and is currently a Doctoral candidate in the School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. The topic of her thesis is The Feminine in Body, Language and Spirituality, and is multidisciplinary, encompassing philosophy, theology and depth psychology.