Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, could use more attention. First heard of her from feminist home economist, Patricia J. Thompson. Unlike others in her discipline, Pat was deeply intellectual about home ec. Here In "Close to Home: an homage to Hestia," she is most accessible.
We met her in the 1980s--she was teaching at Lehman College in New York. I got closer to home ec when Ron Bloom switched departments from Education to Home Economics at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Listened to her ideas. We talked about the women like Ellen Richards who pioneered the field, congruent time and energy of Jane Addams and social work.
You know that sense-- a concept attracts but seems just out of reach? That was how it was with Pat. Always thought I needed to be a little smarter, go deeper. The world needs more like her; wish we had not lost touch. She was quirky personally, surely a result of her complex and difficult background. She was obsessed with being the unacknowledged daughter of a famous Russian and Soviet poet from early 20th century. Finally she extracted recognition and a medal from the Russians in 2008...
Order of Lomonosov, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation, Moscow, July 8. First public recognition by the Russian Federation that Dr. Patricia J. Thompson is indeed the
American daughter of the Russian poet, Vladimir Vladimirovitch Mayakovsky.
Added her Russian name, Yelena Vladimirovna Mayakovskya, to her vita.
Her out-of-print textbook, "Self, Space & Shelter," (blogged about HERE ) belongs in today's classroom. I used it for "The Idea of Home," class I developed for Ron's department. Published in 1977, too early for attention to co-housing which I included in 1989. My urban, African-American students found this idea of home not to their liking. Their dream was of suburbia.
Excellent companion to Hestia.
Thank you Pat/Yelena, wherever you are now.