The Association for the Anthropology of Consciousness is an interdisciplinary association of anthropologists, psychologists, mythologists, archaeologists, sociologists, and like minded scholar-practitioners united by a common interest in the study of consciousness from an anthropological perspective. Our research topics range from the cross-cultural study of consciousness as understood within and through various cultural traditions (including the shamanic, yogic, and “magical”), to contemporary studies of depth psychology, neuroplasticity, human potential, ecopsychology, and human/technological interaction.
Consciousness, like most words, is polysemic: offering a wide range of distinct and overlapping meanings. Because of this, we remain open to the great diversity of human understandings of consciousness: from the spiritual to the materialist, from the cultural to the biological, from the sacred to the secular.
We embrace the “Ontological Turn” in anthropology, wherein we’ve come to understand the necessity of continuously questioning our own academic and theoretical frameworks in order to more accurately learn from, and better represent, other people’s lifeworlds. Furthermore, we embrace a radically empirical approach to consciousness whereby we take all phenomena of consciousness as worthy of study and exploration.
In our exploration of consciousness, we are committed to the anthropological principles of cross-cultural, holistic, and comparative study rooted in an ethnographic approach to research. We are also committed to scholarly rigor and embrace the “Scholar-Practitioner” model: where the researcher who actively tries to share in the experiences of the people he or she writes about will create more accurate, empathetic, and rigorous ethnographic accounts. Finally, we are committed to exploring how findings from the anthropological study of consciousness can be applied to improving the conditions of life on earth from both human and non-human perspectives.
We hope you enjoy our site and look forward to sharing this amazing learning journey with you!