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ANTHROPOLOGY / SOCIOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES, SEMESTER 1, 2017 : Rethinking Altered States of Consciousness in a Transforming World: Could Psychedelics be Vehicles for Change? Other events...
Rethinking Altered States of Consciousness in a Transforming World: Could Psychedelics be Vehicles for Change? by Alicia Wheatley

The recent renaissance into the study of psychedelic substances raises interesting and conceptually important issues for anthropologists and other academics alike. My data explore how altered states of consciousness (ASC), as opposed to the typical waking state, can offer significant benefits to those who experience them. As such, a preliminary objective of this thesis has been to explore the motivations and intentions behind psychedelic use by Westerners. By focusing mostly on entheogenic use, this study is interested in how Western users' worldviews, values, and practices are transformed through their use of psychedelics. From these results, I offer the notion that psychedelics are potential tools for correcting damaging human behaviours from further contributing to the impending ecological crisis. By delving into alternative epistemological methods of analysing psychedelic experiences, I additionally make the case that anthropologists must address the challenges and limitations of Western hegemonic perspectives, in order to respectably explore alternate ways of ‘knowing’ and ‘being’ in the 21st century.

Treading on the Glass Ceiling in Stilettos : A 21st Century Gender Equality (lack of) Progress Report by Nathan Jakovich

As the so-called ‘2nd wave’ of feminism audaciously broke through into (Western) mainstream consciousness throughout the 1960s and 1970s, there was widespread optimism that future gender equality was both attainable and inevitable. This thesis investigates why these predictions have not come to fruition. This study begins by presenting key achievements and theoretical developments in the ‘wave metaphor’ of feminism. It also addresses limitations of this view of feminist history, particularly the notion of ‘hegemonic feminism’, which asserts that much of feminist history and theory (particularly the consolidation and influence of traditional western liberal feminism that occurred during the 2nd wave) was produced from a perspective that was ‘privileged and white’ and is thus largely inapplicable to working-class women and ‘women of color’. The key theoretical focus for this discussion is the idea of a ‘patriarchal gender regime’, developed from Foucault’s concept of societal ‘regimes of truth’. It shows how the operation of patriarchal power is reinforced across generations, a major contributing factor to the concerningly slow rate that the gender gap is closing. I suggest the current appropriateness of intersectional feminism as a sound theoretical framework with which to address the historical materialist and culturally symbolic gender inequities that continue to be perpetrated/perpetuated across the world. I utilise categorical bifurcations including west/east, 1st/3rd world and religious/secular in addition to race, class and age to illustrate how ‘compound discrimination’ can occur across each of these dimensions and how they interact with gender to produce vastly inequitable life outcomes depending on a woman’s ‘glocality’. Finally I propose strategies for speeding up progress towards gender equality.
Speaker(s) Alicia Wheatley and Nathan Jakovich
Location Social Sciences Building Room 2204
Contact Farida Fozdar <[email protected]>
Start Fri, 26 May 2017 15:00
End Fri, 26 May 2017 16:00
Submitted by Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Last Updated Mon, 22 May 2017 15:17
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