Elizabeth G. Sullivan

by Susan Acampora, Gill Library

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Elizabeth G. Sullivan and her Memorial Collection
on Ecofeminism and Related Materials at Gill Library, CNR

About Elizabeth:

     Elizabeth G. Sullivan, graduated in 1948 from the School of Arts and Sciences of The College of New Rochelle and remains fondly remembered as a lover of nature and an inspirational woman who touched and influenced a great many lives. 

      Before her graduation from CNR, she had successfully engaged the College in the National Student Association and became CNR's representative to the NSA.  She received a fellowship at the University of Chicago where she completed her master’s degree in Political Science.  Her passion had been to teach in the deep South when the library of St. Jean Baptiste on Lexington Ave. became available for sale.  Elizabeth was able to secure a loan and bought the space which she called The Paraclete Book Center.  The Center became a major resource and community for scholars, religious women, priests, and seminarians until its closing a few years ago.

     Her sister, Nancy Sullivan Murray, founder and benefactress of the Ecofeminism Collection at CNR Gill Library, explains that Elizabeth was also very passionate about Liturgy: “Elizabeth was not only an active member of the National Liturgical Conference,  she also served as its President in the last years of her all-too-brief life.”   Though many who remembered her zeal for and involvement with the Post-Vatican II  Church are gone, we remember her here today in the hope that her work and dedication will continue to inspire and educate.


The Paraclete Book Center

     The Paraclete Book Center, more than a book store, but a community and resource center for Catholic study and inspiration closed in the late nineties.   Below Peter Steinfels quotes the last owner of the shop, Mary Butler on Elizabeth.  See link below to read the entire article.

"The Paraclete opened almost a half-century ago. Elizabeth Sullivan, its founding owner, made the Paraclete an outpost of the new Catholic thinking that culminated in the Second Vatican Council. In the 1960's, during and after the council, the business ''grew and grew and grew,''

Quote by Mary Butler from Steinfels, Peter.  Beliefs.  The New York Times US.  July 25, 1998.   Read the article.



History of the Collection

     The College of New Rochelle Gill Library is proud to offer a rich variety of resources related to the study of ecology and feminism through The Elizabeth G. Sullivan Memorial Collection on Ecofeminism and Related Materials This collection was begun at Gill Library in January 1989 by Nancy Sullivan Murray, a graduate of The College of New Rochelle, SAS '50, for her sister. 

     Nancy explained, “In 1951, Liz founded the Paraclete Book Center, which has been an oasis through the years for scholars, liturgists, theologians, et al.  She, herself was a scholar, teacher and lover of learning".    With the intention of perpetuating Elizabeth’s oasis, and with an equal commitment to the study and support of women, and the environment during these critical times, CNR Library adds to this vital collection each year.  Thanks to the on-going support from the family and friends of Elizabeth, the College, and the Library, the Ecofeminism Collection continues to take root and blossom into a significant source of materials relevant to researchers across many disciplines.

About Ecofeminism   

     Ecofeminism, sometimes referred to as Ecological Feminism, is a field of study and a focus of social activism that grew out of insight and inquiry derived from the merging of the feminist and environmental movements.   The term “ecofeminism”, was originally conceived and employed by the author, Françoise d'Eaubonne, a French feminist and activist, in her books Le féminisme ou la mort, 1974 (Feminism or Death) and Ecologie-feminisme:revolution ou mutation (Eco-feminism: Revolution or Mutation?) . Similarly, it has been adopted by a diverse range of authors and has come to represent and encompass an eclectic expanse of work.  Ecofeminists may be found among scholars, activists, poets, writers, artists, philosophers, religious leaders, naturalists, and more.

    Ecofeminism explores the relationship between existing social institutions such as patriarchy, capitalism and imperialism and issues pertaining to the domination of women, and the exploitation of nature.    Ecofeminists propose that the adoption of feminine sensibilities will promote the healing of social inequalities and help restore balance to the natural world.  While their work is diverse, Ecofeminists share in common a profound concern for preserving the integrity and inter-connectedness of all life.

About the Collection

     Gill Library's collection of ecofeminism and related materials encompasses classic Ecofeminist texts, seminal works out of which ecofeminist philosophies have evolved, and many related materials that share ecofeminist ideologies.  For a deeper understanding of the relevance of early and related scholarship to the field of ecofeminism, an article by Linda Vance: Remapping the Terrain: Books on Ecofeminism. Choice. (June 1993) pp1585+ is highly recommended as it provides a retrospective annotated bibliography and a descriptive essay.   Related Materials include texts on spiritual ecology, feminist spirituality, social ecofeminism, deep ecology, feminist activism, animal rights, third world feminism, and Native American spirituality.

Browsing the Collection and Additional Resources

Please use the following links to browse the Ecofeminism Collection at CNR Library:

1- The Ecofeminism Collection arranged by subject divisions  This link leads to a 2008 bibliography of the Collection arranged by related subjects such as ecofeminism and activism, psychology, philosophy, religion and spirituality, etc.

 2- The Ecofeminism Collection accessed through Gill Library catalog Clicking this link will perform a search of the collection in the Library catalog that will include most recent additions, arranged alphabetically by title.

Additional Resources

In addition to the collection you may browse selected Ecofeminism websites and  related Ecology websites

For more information about the Ecofeminism Collection or for assistance with research on the subject, please contact Susan Acampora at Gill Library of The College of New Rochelle.

Susan Acampora,  M.L.S., M.S.
Systems Librarian
Mother Irene Gill Library
The College of New Rochelle
(914) 654-5353

Updated and revised April 2012

Works Cited:

 d'Eaubonne, Françoise.  Le féminisme ou la mort, 1974 (Feminism or Death).  Paris, P. Horay, 1974.

d'Eaubonne, Françoise.  Ecologie-feminisme:revolution ou mutation (Eco-feminism: Revolution or Mutation?) Paris : Éditions A.T.P., 1978.

Vance, Linda.  "Remapping the Terrain: Books on Ecofeminism" Choice. (June 1993) pp1585+