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Carol Gilligan
Carol Gilligan
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Carol Gilligan
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Psychologist, professor, and author of the groundbreaking book, In a Different Voice, Carol Gilligan “changed the voice of psychology,” making it more responsive to the full range of human experience. Named one of the 25 most influential Americans by Time, Gilligan made women’s voices heard in their own right and with their own integrity for the first time in the social sciences.

Described by Harvard University Press as "the little book that started a revolution,” In a Different Voice, transformed the way we think about gender, human development, and moral behavior. Now translated into 19 languages with over 750,00 copies in print, the book changed the way we listen to ourselves and to others. Gilligan’s method of listening, known as The Listening Guide, is now taught in universities around the world as well as in community settings. She detailed her approach in the paper "The Listening Guide Method of Psychological Inquiry” for the journal Qualitative Psychology.  

Gilligan has written 10 books, including The Birth of Pleasure: A New Map of Love; Between Voice and Silence: Women and Girls, Race and Relationships, co-authored with Jill Taylor and Amy Sullivan, and The Deepening Darkness: Patriarchy, Resistance, & Democracy’s Future, co-authored with David Richards, which explores our struggles with love and violence, tracing them to a systematic disruption of intimate relationships.

In her 2011 book, Joining the Resistance, Gilligan describes the evolution of her thinking. The central conviction of her work today is that both love and democracy depend on everyone having a voice that is listened to and heard with respect. Equal voice is the condition for resolving conflicts through free and open conversation or debate rather than by the use of force.

Gilligan’s novel Kyra was described as a “deeply emotional and a thinking person’s love story” by The San Francisco Chronicle. Scenes from her play, “The Scarlet Letter,” were performed at the Hawthorne bi-centennial.

Winner of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Education (a top honor for fields not recognized by the Nobel prizes) and the Heinz Award for her contributions to understanding the human condition, Gilligan was the first to hold the Patricia Albjerg Graham Chair in Gender Studies at Harvard. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge and is currently a University Professor at New York University.

Full Bio >
  • The Trouble Year for Boys
  • Big Think: Carol Gilligan on Women and Moral Development
  • Makers Profile: Carol Gilligan, Groundbreaking Psychologist
  • We Challenge Each Other (2012)
  • Makers: 11-Year-Olds in the Workplace
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Speaking Topics
The Art of Listening: What We Say, What We Hear

If you put on a snorkel mask and float face-down, a world appears that was previously unseen: gradations of stone or sand, river bottom, ocean floor, fish, perhaps a reef teeming with underwater life. So too with the psychological world, except here the entry is through listening. This is a speech about listening to the voices within and around us — a living museum of human experience; a speech for anyone curious to discover the richness of what people know, at times without being consciously aware that they know it — about themselves and others, about the worlds they live in.

Carol Gilligan presents a guide to listening that enables the reader to map a psychological terrain and opens a path to discovery. From political rhetoric to personal testimony, literary and historical analysis, to parents’ dialogue with their children, the applications are endless.

Over the years, she has taught this listening guide in communities, clinical settings, and universities around the world from Harvard and NYU to the University of Cambridge, Bolivia, Brussels, and Abu Dhabi. It is of interest to people in the business world, journalists, human rights lawyers, political scientists, educators and parents, public health workers and artists, as well as to psychologists — to anyone curious about the interplay of our inner and outer worlds.

*Available for customized half-day and full-day seminars or workshops. 

Read More >
Revisiting In a Different Voice
Moral Injury: The Ethics of Care
Reflections on the Lives of Women
Special Programs: Available for customized half-day and full-day seminars or workshops
Books & Other Works
  • Joining the Resistance
  • In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development
  • The Deepening Darkness: Patriarchy, Resistance, and Democracy's Future
  • Kyra
  • The Birth of Pleasure: A New Map of Love
  • Meeting at the Crossroads: Woman's Psychology and Girls' Development
  • Between Voice and Silence: Women and Girls, Race and Relationship
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“It went great, great, great.”
Drury University
“Your session was a huge success. Maria Shriver was so grateful for your participation . You graced us with your extraordinary technique for tapping into our frank and fearless voices. You undoubtedly changed some lives along the way. Thank you and please know how grateful we all are to you.”
The Women's Conference
“Your visit to Utah Valley State College was monumental on many levels. Our students, faculty and administrators are still discussing the impacts of your keynote speech.”
Utah Valley State College
“It was a great night - we had about 300-350 people (mostly students) who were very engaged. She was amazing - so warm and friendly (in addition to being brilliant!)”
Misericordia University
“We were enchanted. Dr. Gilligan has a way of pulling people in as if you were in her private parlor. It was a huge success. We had about 800 people. That is fantastic for this university, which has so many students who are commuters... People just fell in love with her.”
California State University, San Bernadino
“Your knowledge, enthusiasm, and special rapport you have with your public make you such a cherished figure in public life and particularly in our community. Each time you grace our stage, our audience members walk out of our auditorium with their minds expanded and their lives enriched.”
92nd Street YM-YWHA, New York
“Your message hit the mark. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise.”
National Center for Family Literacy
“Carol Gilligan captivated a standing room audience of students, faculty and lay people with her gifted ability to get a strong and powerful message across in a personal manner.”
Kent State University
“She was wonderful... easy going... accessible... great speech... had 1000 people in the audience.”
Eastern Michigan University
“We've had terrific feedback about your talk and everyone I spoke with enjoyed the evening.”
Free Library of Philadelphia
Behavioral Sciences
Civic Engagement
Cultural Identity
Emotional Intelligence
Sexual Harassment
Social Change
Social Commentary
Women's Health