This presentation will deal with the differences and overlaps of the theosophical and feminist ideas of Marie Musaeus Higgins, Countess Miranda de Souza Canavarro and Florence Farr, all of whom went to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) at some point in their life to become Principals of Buddhist and Hindu girls’ schools. Those schools still exist today and have a huge impact on the education of middle class girls in Sri Lanka. Even though their presence helped to enable Sri Lankan women to become part of the economic and political landscape, the three Theosophists’ view on womanhood and motherhood often clashed with that of the Sri Lankan women and men. This presentation will deal with those ideas and examine the ways in which they were influenced by contemporary feminist thought as well as theosophical teachings.
About the speaker:
Jessica Albrecht is a PhD student in the Study of Religion at the University of Heidelberg. Her research interests lie in the interrelation of feminism, religion and esotericism in the 19th and 20th century with regional focus on England and Sri Lanka. Jessica holds a masters in Gender History as well as South Asian Languages. She is also co-founder and editor of the international and interdisciplinary postgraduate journal on gender research En-Gender!