Kirsten Grimstad, PhD
Co-Chair and Professor, BA in Liberal Studies
Kirsten Grimstad joined Antioch University in spring 2005 after a sixteen-year career at Vermont College, where she served as core faculty advisor and co-director of the Master of Arts Program. When Vermont College was acquired by the Union Institute in 2001, Grimstad was elected chair of the faculty committee that formed to design the governance plan for the newly merged institution and to establish a strong faculty voice in academic decision-making.
Grimstad’s publications reflect the range of her commitments that include feminist activism. She is the co-author of The New Woman’s Survival Catalog and The New Woman’s Survival Sourcebook, which together compiled a portrait of the organizations and activities of the women’s alternative culture in the 1970s. Alliances with the women artists’ movement in Los Angeles formed through the research on these two books led to the founding of Chrysalis: A Magazine of Women’s Culture. Grimstad served as executive editor and publisher of Chrysalis throughout its brief but far-reaching and memorable years of publication, 1977-1981. She also served as supervising editor on numerous books in the field of art conservation, as consultant to the Getty Conservation Institute and International Council of Museums.
Her dissertation research on the German writer Thomas Mann was selected for an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women. She is the author of The Modern Revival of Gnosticism and Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus, published by Camden House (2002). This study explored the resurgence of Gnosticism, an extreme religious sensibility, dating from the early Christian era, that combines a radically pessimistic view of life and the world with an optimistic belief that the human spirit is itself divine, though lost in an alien and evil world. The reappearance of Gnostic themes across the landscape European literature and thought and in major works by Thomas Mann served as a channel for the extremist revolt of modern artists and writers against social modernity.