Sea Change: Annual Meeting 2021 Registration

The Society of the Anthropology of Consciousness invites you to join us online over three days to investigate how we engage with communities around ongoing concerns of ecological change. The title “Sea Change” points to the context and social climate in which we currently live: a time in which drastic social, political, and environmental change is occurring. During these times of chaos and ecological upheaval, conflict and despair inevitably arise as responses to the ongoing precarity and uncertainty. As anthropologists and consciousness researchers, there are many ways to interpret and understand these changes. “Sea Change” also acknowledges that we live in a time in which all forms of life are experiencing radical changes on the planet (such as rising sea levels), and with such changes, suffering and conflict increases. Therefore, we invite presenters and attendees to reflect and engage with subjects related to change, embodied transformation, and ecological disruption.

We consider this conference an opportunity to build networks for collective engagement, restorative practices, healing, and reconciliation. We will be highlighting projects which explore indigenous and/or plant-based practices that might provide transformational learning and opportunities for collective action. It is our goal to elevate oppressed voices and wisdom that honor those communities and challenge the power dynamics of colonization. We also welcome members, collaborators, and those new to the conference to engage in discussions related to exploring consciousness in all lived experiences, both human and non-human consciousness.

Join us over the weekend of March 12-14, 2021 to explore these issues through live streamed Zoom sessions with academics, activists, and specialists; a pre-recorded asynchronous media gallery with a curated selection of podcasts, short films, and other media; and some interactive workshops and meditation sessions to help facilitate mind/body learning and individual and communal transformations. Stop by for the afterparty each night on our Zoom Happy Hours and Twitch sessions if you dare! Registration information below.


Please go to the following link and follow the registration instructions there:

(NOTE: You will be asked to create a username and password for the AAA system, if you do not already have one, before you can register. No payment is required to do this. You do not need to be a member of the AAA to attend this conference.)

Please send an email to to be considered for a free registration grant. If selected, we will send you a unique code to enter when registering that will zero your payment for the entire conference. Please do not share this link with anyone as it will only work for the individual we have given it to.

Participants will receive further information and secure links to the online conference once registered. In order to be officially registered, all attendees will need to create a user account and register on the AAA website: (, after which they can select their registration type and check out. You will them get an email with access to the Communities page with all up to date announcements, links, and the conference program.

For more information, please contact:


Mark Flanagan, Program Chair —

Andy Gurevich, President —

CFP Sea of Change – Spring 2021 Conference

Sea Change: Lifeworlds & Ecological Upheaval
Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness
March 12th – 14th, 2021 (Online)

“How do people imagine the landscapes they find themselves in? How does the land shape the imagination of the people who dwell in it? How does desire itself, the desire to comprehend, shape knowledge?”
-Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams
The Program Committee for The Society of the Anthropology of Consciousness invites members and their collaborators to investigate how we engage with communities around ongoing concerns of ecological change. The title “Sea Change” points to the context and social climate in which we currently live: a time in which drastic social, political, and environmental change is occurring. During these times of chaos and ecological upheaval, conflict and despair inevitably arise as responses to the ongoing precarity and uncertainty. As anthropologists and consciousness researchers, there are many ways to interpret and understand these changes. “Sea Change” also acknowledges that we live in a time in which all forms of life are experiencing radical changes on the planet (such as rising sea levels), and with such changes, suffering and conflict increases. Therefore, we invite presenters to reflect and engage with subjects related to change, embodied transformation, and ecological disruption. We consider this conference an opportunity to build networks for collective engagement, restorative practices, healing, and reconciliation.
We welcome works that explore indigenous and/or plant-based practices that might provide transformational learning and opportunities for collective action. It is our goal to elevate oppressed voices and wisdom that honor those communities and challenge the power dynamics of colonization. We also welcome members, collaborators, and those new to the conference to engage in discussions related to exploring consciousness in all lived experiences, both human and non-human consciousness. 

Potential paper, panel proposals, pre-recorded events, short films, and workshops include but are not limited to:
●       Transdisciplinary dialogue on the ecological changes, including immediate and long-term implications.        
●       Political instability and rise of nationalism.      
●       Plant based and indigenous wisdom on change.      
●       Global capitalism, corporate influence and instability.       
●       Impact of COVID 19 on cultural and ecological practices.   
●       Upheaval in medical systems and methods of healing.
●       The impact of ecologically caused migration on social movements and social consciousness.
●       Empowering change makers with traditional wisdom practices.
●       Intersection of plant animal, and human consciousness.
●       The sacred feminine & women’s movement into political power.
●       Militarization, globalization and the role of anthropology in helping to shape a more connected and integrated world.
●       Attempts to bridge emic and etic perspectives in fieldwork using consciousness frameworks.
●       Voices of youth and subaltern amidst ecological chaos.
Workshops, Experientials, and Art
AoC also invites submissions of artistic works and experiential workshops exploring or cultivating consciousness, specifically those that relate to the conference theme. We aim to build bridges across scholastic and creative communities, and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Prerecorded Content Gallery
Do you have a short film, a podcast episode, a prerecorded panel discussion, or other academic or artistic work that you feel aligns with our conference theme? Will this pre-recorded media work as an integral part of our online gallery that will be live for the entire conference? Reach out and let us know. We can accommodate a number of different formats, and they need not be limited to academic projects or those with a decidedly anthropological lens. We are an interdisciplinary organization and are seeking content from a variety of different perspectives. The closer to the communities most affected by ecological upheaval, the better.

Proposals and questions regarding individual papers, panels, workshops, and special events should be submitted by Jan. 15, 2021 to

Anthropology of Consciousness’ Statement on Anti-Racism

Friends & Colleagues,

The president and board of directors for Anthropology of Consciousness (AC) are angered by the unjustified killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Elijah McClain, Botham Jean, Eric Grner, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Philandro Castile, and the countless others whose names have not been afforded the national spotlight during this ongoing, multi-generational social crisis. AC’s organizational heart breaks for all those whom are forced to endure systemic and continued violence, especially at the hands of law enforcement. We recognize the plight of all marginalized communities, starting with the world’s Indigenous populations as they try to survive and maintain their cultural roots amidst the constant onslaught of brutal and dehumanizing colonial oppression. But we also wish to recognize the particular strain of racism, anti-Blackness, that infects so much of the collective hearts and minds of the American cultural landscape. As researchers committed to the study of symbolic, shamanic, and integrative consciousness, we wish to affirm the notion that no human being or community is truly free to explore the contours of their own consciousness, cultural memory, or symbolic inheritance if they remain in perpetual states of fear for their own safety at the hands of militant agents of socioeconomic status quo.

One of the founders of modern anthropology, Zora Neale Hurston, wrote in her seminal work Their Eyes Were Watching God, There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” In fact, this quoteserves as the basis for the theme of next year’s national American Anthropological Association conference in November 2021: Truth & Responsibility. But it is much more than that. It is also a prescient reminder, a clarion call, that the great work of our time is to be aware of the drastically shifting cultural landscapes we inhabit and the challenges and opportunities this provides for those who are committed to remaking the world along compassionate and life-affirming lines. For far too long, the more things change, the more they stay the same. In 2020 C.E., we are long overdue to begin to “answer” for the scourge of racism that has plagued our nation, and our world, for centuries.

AC also recognizes that the discipline of anthropology itself has played a role in establishing these racist, discriminatory categories and systems. Some of the founding and prominent leaders of anthropology used their research to justify policies that led to the inequity, oppression, and violence that continues to plague Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in the United States and around the world today. Whether it be providing cover for colonial views of “race,” or simultaneously fetishizing and dismissing Indigenous life ways because they often conflict with modernist, Eurocentric epistemologies, anthropologists and anthropology have unfortunately promoted “academic” justifications for systemic and widespread inequity as much as they have worked to dismantle them.

Of course there are other, and perhaps older, forms of dismantling the dignity of the Other. But the recent police violence towards communities of color in general, and Black men in particular, is the result of the multi-generational fallout from the colonial structures of aggregating capital which have always sustained themselves on the commodification of the dark bodies of non-Europeans. The very invention of race, was almost entirely a banking enterprise, meant to increase and protect profit margins. This is what we are speaking to now because this is what has Black bodies still being annihilated by law enforcement in broad daylight. This is what has “seasonal laborers” locked in cages at the USA’s southern border. This is what has the world’s First Peoples living in concentration camps and as perpetual refugees in their own land.

The ways in which these recursive systems of oppression permeate the discipline of anthropology and modern “Western” academia are manifold and deeply rooted. Many anthropologists who are people of color are not just troubled by the discipline’s problematic history, but also see obstacles to equity and inclusion still very much operative within the field. Whether navigating the power dynamics of predominantly white male-dominated academic spaces, or witnessing how race and/or class position often prevents academics who are people of color from “givens” like travel, tenure, and sabbatical, the disease of racism continues to hinder the careers, opportunities, and contacts of people of color within the field.

We believe another important power dynamic to address is academia’s tendency to “talk down” to the lived experiences of people of color rather than practicing true egalitarian engagement. Many white scholars think they know, and can contextualize, the world and life experiences of marginalized peoples better; which is very alienating to those who may have direct experience with that which others have only studied or read about secondhand.

AC denounces white supremacy in all its manifestations even as we acknowledge our role in having contributed to and benefitted from the racist systems that still flourish within our academic associations and the nation at large. Through this statement we reaffirm that we’ve committed ourselves to a different course. Guided by our mission and values, we continue to evolve our programs to be more equitable, adaptive, and inclusive, particularly for communities of color. We also acknowledge that these communities are not homogenous in their identities and expressions.

An essential part of our pledge is to be active listeners and engaged allies in the fight to overturn any systems of thought or institutions that place relative human worth on individuals and communities because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, place of birth, physical and mental abilities, or religious faith. Our role in the promotion of literature also demands that we actively fight racism in publishing, especially academic publishing: a historically exclusive and inequitable industry. We still have lots of work to do here as well, but no challenge will waver our commitment.

As a society of scholars committed to the study of human complexity and diversity, mediated through the cornerstone of consciousness, AC stands firmly with the people, organizations, and institutions protesting the recent and ongoing violence perpetrated against Black people in American culture. Alongside the disproportionate deaths from COVID-19 occurring in Black, brown, and Indigenous communities, these fatalities stem from the systemic racism embedded in U.S. society and institutions. We are committed to using our work and voices to dismantle the systems that have brought us to this painful place today.

In fact, our organization was founded as a challenge to the way modern anthropology placed certain cultural and epistemological frames above others in pursuit of primarily Western, materialist, and ultimately colonial structures of academic inquiry. We remain as committed to this challenge today as when we were founded. AC has greatly benefitted over the last decade from the invaluable voices of the women of color who have occupied our board of directors, the presidency of the organization, and senior editor positions on our journal team. We have worked to amplify the visibility of Indigenous communities who are being decimated by the ravages of colonial oppression and resource extraction. We aim to bring scholars from all over the world to our annual conferences and events to diminish the centrality of Eurocentric thought within academic discourse. But our organization still has a long way to go in addressing the disease of racism and anti-Blackness within our nation, within academia and the discipline of anthropology itself, and within our own ranks.

There is a quote attributed to the late anthropologist Ruth Benedict that suggests, “The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.” The veracity of this attribution has been challenged over the years but the sentiment has resonated across the field of cultural anthropology because a revolution has been needed in our discipline for quite some time. Within our academic spaces, there are those who wish to prop up the pillars of hegemonic inequity and those who wish to tear them down. This battle is not new, and is far from over.

AC welcomes engagement with outside organizations and from our membership on how best to move forward with these goals. This is a call-to-action at organizational, institutional, and personal levels. In order to have any credibility and influence substantive change, we need to have accountability and action within our own profession. Within our own lives, families, and communities.

Below we offer specific, actionable ways to start moving forward together.  We ask our members to advocate for change in their own institutions to revise the policies and procedures that perpetuate discrimination. Decolonize your teaching. Center marginalized voices in your classrooms, at meetings, and as editors, reviewers, and administrators.  And most of all, listen to your colleagues and students who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Give them space to speak, to act, to exercise their judgment, and share their experiences. They have had to edit themselves for too long.

What We are Doing

  • AOC has been committed to diversifying our board and leadership over the last several years, and even decades. With the addition of wonderful scholars like Dr. Diane Hardgrave, Dr. Akeia de Barros Gomes, and Dr. Nicole Torres to our presidency, board of directors, and journal team, we have made some small steps in busting up the white wall of experience at the top of our organization so that the voices of those traditionally left out of these conversations and decisions are now centered. More so at least. But we have a long way to go.
  • We have devoted issues of our journal to topics such as the militarization of the USA’s southern border and the exploitation of the Peruvian Indigenous communities caused by Ayahuasca tourism and self-serving (mostly) white cultural anthropologists seeking to appropriate and monetize the traditions of the Indigenous communities in the region.
  • We are hosting a panel at this year’s AAA conference entitled, “The Anthropologist as Other,” which is chaired by board member Dr. Akeia de Barros Gomes and is comprised mostly of women of color who will be challenging the practice of modern anthropology itself. The panel will explore how the discipline of anthropology as a whole is rooted in the displacement and denial of the subjectivity and ontological dignity of the very groups of people whose knowledge, rituals, practices, and wisdom it studies. We will also raise the funds to pay for conference and registration fees for these panelists as our board found it inappropriate to charge these participants to deliver a message such as theirs to our group and to the larger anthropological community. Stay tuned for the fundraiser if you have the means to contribute.
  • We are in the preliminary stages of engaging The University of Missouri (Mizzou) through Dr. Stephen Graves, Dr. Karthik Panchanathan, and Dr. Greg Blomquist to host our 2022 section meeting at their institution on the topic of “Consciousness, the African Diaspora, and the Spirituality of Oppression.”

What Still Needs to Be Done

  • So much. If you are familiar with our organization, you know that we have been trying to address the diseases of racism and Anti-Blackness within our collective and in the discipline of anthropology for some time. But we have much to learn and much work to do if we are to manifest any of this into the physical, professional, and liminal spaces we share with one another. This is where we need your help.
    • If you are an anthropologist, psychologist, archaeologist, sociologist, or an academic in a related field who is a person of color, consider joining our organization and presenting a paper, leading a panel, or joining our board, journal team, or conference coordinator team.
    • If you know of someone who fits the above description, please pass the invite along to them.
    • If you are a member of our organization and/or have attended our events or engaged our journal and have some ideas on how we can make AC a more diverse, safe, accessible, and thriving international community, please contact us and share your ideas. Contact information can be found on our Facebook page and on our website:

Ways to Engage in Action

Commit to Sustained Efforts to:

  • Educate ourselves on how to be self-reflective, effective, and engaged allies.
  • Create accountability mechanisms in our classrooms, departments, and institutions to challenge students or colleagues, especially those with power and position, who contribute to a discriminatory climate or hinder antiracist efforts.
  • Establish a growth mindset in order to reflect on and be open to substantive change.
  • Reflect on our assumptions about what constitutes “good” scholarship in our roles as editors, or reviewers of grants, publications, tenure dossiers, and graduate program or job applications.
  • Recognize that our current systems of evaluation perpetuate structural inequalities. Improving our field can only come with substantive change in the culture and value system of academia and scholarship.
  • Promote public discourse: including writing op-eds, facilitating or attending workshops, and other forms of relevant outreach.
  • Develop and amplify programming focused on antiracism.
  • Advocate for equal pay for our POC colleagues; recognize their invisible labor.
  • Decolonize our teaching and our research by integrating marginalized voices into our syllabi, symposia, edited volumes, and invited speaker series (ideas and resources below).

Organizations Advocating for Reform & Racial Justice

Decolonize and Recenter Your Teaching and Research

Resources on decolonizing your classroom and curriculum:

  • Keikelame, M. J., & Swartz, L. (2019). Decolonising research methodologies: lessons from a qualitative research project, Cape Town, South Africa. Global health action12(1), 1561175.
  • Linda Tuhawi-Smith’s 2013 book Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples. Zed Books Ltd.
  • Louie, Dustin William, et al. 2017. Applying Indigenizing Principles of Decolonizing Methodologies in University Classrooms. Canadian Journal of Higher Education / Revue canadienne d’enseignement supérieur, 47(3): 16–33.
  • Zavala, M., 2013. What do we mean by decolonizing research strategies? Lessons from decolonizing, Indigenous research projects in New Zealand and Latin America. Decolonization, Indigeneity Education and Society 2(1).
  • This is an incredible tool (the writer calls it his “decolonization manifesto”) used by many Centers for Teaching Excellence.
  • These also provide very accessible ideas and perspective:
    • A conversation with Girish Daswani on decolonizing the classroom.
    • Excellent resources by the NCTE on decolonizing your teaching.
    • Sarris, Greg, 1993. Keeping Slug Woman alive: A holistic approach to American Indian texts. Berkeley: University of CA Press.

Please, do not forget to take care of yourselves and each other. Check in on your colleagues. Avail yourself of the resources above. Reach out to our board members with ideas and concerns. Stayed tuned for opportunities to build from the outrage of recent days. And commit to being an active participant in co-creating a better future together.

We extend our support and compassion to everyone impacted by ongoing acts of racist violence and hatred. We, too, demand a just and equitable present and future, and a substantive accountability for the past. Finally, we ask our community to join us in active solidarity with all those who fight for justice, equity, and genuine communal healing across the world.

In solidarity,

The Board of Directors and leadership of Anthropology of Consciousness

AAA 2020 CFP Truth and Responsibility: The Anthropologist as Other

The history of the field of anthropology is fraught with racism, classism (and many other
“isms”) which we continue to grapple with today. What is the responsibility to the
constructed “other” in a discipline that was created in part, to assist colonial endeavors
against the “other”? What do we mean by “cultural relativism” when we continue to try
to rationalize or understand the worldview of the “other” according to Western
paradigms, referring to non-Western belief systems as less valid than the systems derived from Western European thought? How do we defend our claim that we do not measure other belief systems by our own “yardstick” when it is difficult or impossible to publish in academic journals without explaining belief systems of the “other” through our own theories? If the system or belief of the “other” rings true, we label it “interpretive drift” rather than accepting it as a valid mode of thought. And critically important, how do “other” anthropologists honor their own worldview and belief system when their field imposes a culturally imperialist mode of thought on their interpretations? To address this, we invite papers that address these questions in topics including but not limited to:

• What is the role of the “anthropologist as other” in the increasingly global and
diverse field of anthropology and what new insights can anthropologists and
academics who are not of a Western European worldview offer to the field?
• How are conflicts in basic worldview(s) resolved for anthropologists who choose
to research and publish while honoring their own perspective and worldview?
• What is the academic value of sincerely incorporating non-Western, nonhegemonic modes of thought into anthropological theory?
• What are the inherent biases still existing in the field of anthropology and academics in general that limit the potential of anthropologists who work to understand culture through their own lens rather than applying Western European derived academic theory to the understanding of themselves and their own culture?
• How do we maintain academic integrity while sincerely asserting other modes of
thought are equally academically valid?

Please submit abstracts and proposal ideas to:

Akeia de Barros Gomes, PhD
Curator of Social History
New Bedford Whaling Museum
(508) 717-6853

Please also submit proposals and abstracts through the AAA submission portal by May
15, 2020. No fees will be collected at this time and the Anthropology of Consciousness is
planning to cover all registration fees for presenters who come from the very
communities whose subjectivity has been problematized by the hierarchies of colonial
epistemologies mentioned above.

COVID-19 Update: Due to the uncertain nature of the next several months, we have
decided to make all of our panels for the November AAA meeting in St Louis virtual
presentations. We hope this eases your fears and concerns about participating and
minimizes (or entirely erases) the financial burden of attending the conference as well.

AAA 2020 Conference CFP: Consciousness, Community, and Communitas in a Post-Covid World 

Consciousness, Community, and Communitas in a Post-Covid World 

The Coronavirus Pandemic has killed many aspects of the pre-crisis world, and we are in the liminal zone before a new world is born. Some have even spoken of this time as a rite of passage for humanity. As Victor Turner has shown us, initiation is a place of crisis and opportunity, peril and possibility. 

On the shadow side critics like Edward Snowden have warned us of the hardening of the security state driven by authorities strengthening their power in response to the crisis. Others have spoken of this time as the opportunity for fundamental and positive social change. Not everyone emerges from an initiation intact, but some return with powerful visions to help lead their community. 

Part of this transition time is the canceling of festival culture. With social distancing as the new normal, events as far ranging as Burning Man, Beloved, Symbiosis, Lightning in a Bottle, and the Oregon Country Fair have all been put on hold. Each of these events has been described as a part of the “Transformational Festival” Culture that’s sprung up along the West Coast of the United States among other areas. At these events electronic music has mixed with practices of social transformation including yoga, permaculture, Neotantric workshops, and Entheogenic lectures in service of creating  a potentially conscious and sustainable society.

In many ways these events bear a family resemblance to what Victor Turner explored in his study of Brazilian Umbanda communities. He described these communities as liminal “Space-Time” pods that offered a form Communitas sandwiched at night and on weekends between the work a day week of the default world. Here old models of being and relating were broken down by ritual practice and the guidance of elders to create new possibilities for the lives of members.

In this panel we seek to explore what we can learn from transformational festivals and communities to better navigate this liminal zone and potentially create new models of relating in a Post Covid future. What can the Liminal “space-time” pods of festival culture offer us in terms of new ways of knowing and being in a Post Pandemic world? 


To that end, we invite paper submissions to such topics including but not limited to:

  • What insight and inspiration can we leverage from festival culture in service of new community models? (e.g. grass roots building and organization at Burning Man, the 12 principles, ect.)
  • What existing examples of alternative communities can we look to in support of new community models post Crisis, and what makes them work from an Anthropological POV? (e.g Damanhur, Auroville, Ecovillages)
  • In keeping with Edward Sapir’s framework, what makes for a “Genuine”  vs. a “Spurious” culture?
  • What can we learn from other societies in terms of an adaptive response to what  Philosophical Anthropologist David Bidney called Cultural Crisis?
  • What can Anthropology say about how consciousness changing technologies in the forms of ritual, meditation, entheogens, and shamanic praxis can help create planetary resonance and group coherence in the face of cultural crisis?
  • What are the Utopic vs. Dystopic visions of a future community and what can we do to make for a better outcome? (eg. Cyberpunk vs. Solarpunk)
  • What is the shadow side of transformation and communitas and how can we deal with it?
Submit Proposals

Those interested are invited to submit proposals to Mark Shekoyan, Phd:

Follow this link for more information on the conference itself and for steps on how to officially submit your proposal abstract:

AAA Requirements

General abstract proposals must be started by May 15, 2020 and finished by May 20, 2020. The AAA is not requiring presenters to pay registration fees or other associated costs at this time. Also, this panel will likely be held virtually so that will lower (or possibly eliminate) the out of pocket expenditures as well. Please contact us ASAP for more details. 


2020 AAA Annual Meeting Theme:

Truth and Responsibility

November 18-22, 2020

St Louis, MO.

Anthropology of Consciousness:

Call for Papers, Panels and Co-sponsored Sessions

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

― Zora Neale Hurston

The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.

—Ruth Benedict


We are thrilled to announce the theme of the 2020 AAA Annual Meeting to be held in St. Louis, MO: Truth and Responsibility.

Truth and Responsibility” is a call to reimagine anthropology to meet the demands of the present moment. The imperative to bear witness, take action, and be held accountable to the truths we write and circulate invites us to reflect on our responsibility in reckoning with disciplinary histories, harms, and possibilities. To whom are we giving evidence and toward what ends? For whom are we writing? To whom are we accountable, and in what ways?

For those who study the anthropology of consciousness, the year 2020 has always held special significance as a potential time of radical transformations and shifting paradigms. How is our discipline affected by events unfolding in the world today? What responsibility do we have to the land, to the peoples, and to the field of nonlocal consciousness itself from which we take our own identities and make our living exploring?


It seems the “post-truth” and “anti-scientific” perspectives are threatening in the time of Coronavirus. But threatening to whom? And why? Does a return to indigenous epistemological forms mean we are entering a post, post-truth era which is as much a return as a progression? What do cultures of consciousness have to say about truth and responsibility as they relate to sustaining integrative, thriving societies? Is indigeneity a conscious relationship to the Other that can be adopted and expressed across cultural divides or is it inherent to the social and epistemological forms within which it arises? How can these elemental relationships be understood and respected in times of great cultural upheaval and change?


Across subfields, we find truths in patterns of human behavior, language, evolution, and cultural worlds. But what are the limits and possibilities of the anthropological imagination? What is the relationship of the imagination in regards to truth and responsibility? What can we learn about this from a perspective of consciousness? AoC’s special lens focuses on the transformation and empowerment of the individual from the inside out. This angle as it relates to post-colonial theory is particularly interesting because, although vital communal bonds are necessary for collective consciousness to take root in the self, powerful individuals, in turn, make for more effective agents of cultural change. The one is born from the other and subsequently nourishes, challenges and sometimes overturns it in return. How can we leverage this knowledge to support social wellbeing in times of crisis?


AoC has the responsibility to share and promote the unconventional and uncomfortable truths of sacred stories and ecstatic experiences that challenge conventional wisdom and the status quo. With our section’s emphasis on the first person exploration of Shamanic, Entheogenic, PSI, and transformative experiences, how can our understanding of the different frameworks for truth within cultures of consciousness challenge the normative, external, rational Western Ego that permeates so much of modern anthropological discourse? For instance, Western empirical objective knowing in contrast to more participatory, or inner, intuitive knowing. E.g. “Prajna”  in Buddhists contexts, or the concept of “Gnosis.”


The hope is that those who submit proposals will take up these questions and engage in collective thinking and imagining about the truths we hold, the truths we challenge, and the responsibilities we bear in co-creating a free and more equitable world. We want to provide a forum for people discussing different frameworks of responsibility within different cultures of consciousness. How is responsibility to self, family, tribe, community, nation, the natural world, all beings, no being, or various combinations, framed in these lifeworlds and why? All panel proposals should have a statement about how the panel has incorporated the goals of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and/or an analysis of power.


To submit, please follow this two-step process:

  • Please have abstract submissions to us ASAP. No later than by April 10, 2020.

You can email submissions here:

  • Submit papers, panels and general inquiries below. Please select AOC as a possible cosponsor or host for your submissions:

April 24: General Call for Papers Abstract Proposal START Deadline

April 29: General Call for Papers Abstract Proposal SUBMISSION Deadline


COVID-19 NOTE from the AAA:

If you register now and decide later not to attend due to COVID-19 concerns, we will refund your conference registration in full. Due to the extraordinary circumstances, we will not charge the usual administrative fee on refunds.

New Book: Jaguars of the Dawn: Spirit Mediumship in the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer by Emily Pierini

Jaguars of the Dawn: Spirit Mediumship in the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer’ has been published by Berghahn (hardback and eBook). 

This is the first book in English on the Vale do Amanhecer (Valley of the Dawn), a Brazilian Spiritualist Christian Order that is rapidly spreading across South and North America, and Europe. It should be of particular interest for those working on Brazilian religions, spirit mediumship and possession, spiritual healing, spirituality and health, learning religion, anthropology of the body and the self. 



“This is an exciting book for several reasons… it contributes original knowledge to theoretical debates on the relationship between humans and spirits and the ways in which spirit possession/mediumship is about a transformation of the self.” Cristina Rocha, Western Sydney University.



The Brazilian Spiritualist Christian Order Vale do Amanhecer (Valley of the Dawn) is the place where the worlds of the living and the spirits merge and the boundaries between lives are regularly crossed. Drawing upon over a decade of extensive fieldwork in temples of the Amanhecer in Brazil and Europe, the author explores how mediums understand their experiences and how they learn to establish relationships with their spirit guides. She sheds light on the ways in which mediumistic development in the Vale do Amanhecer is used for therapeutic purposes and informs notions of body and self, of illness and wellbeing.

Hardback: (See attachment for a 50% discount code)




Recommend it to your library: 

%d bloggers like this: