John Baker, Dhardon Sharling, Nicole Torres
John Baker, Lisa Gezon and Nicole Torres
Membership and Development Committee:
Marketing and Outreach Committee:
Andrew Gurevich (2019-2021)
Bryan Rill (2014-2019)
Diane Hardgrave (2010-2014)
Steven Glazier (2001-2003; 2008-2010)
John Baker (1999-2001; 2003-2007)
Mira Zussman (Amiras) (1997-1998)
Jeff MacDonald (1996-1997)
Michael Winkelman (1994-1996)
Sidney M. Greenfield (1991-1994)
Geri Ann Galanti (1984-1990)
Philip Stanford (1978-1983)
Stephan A. Schwartz (1974-1977)
John R. Baker
John R. Baker, Dr.phil., is a Professor of Anthropology at Moorpark College, a California community college. His interest in consciousness grew out of the experiential studies he participated in as a high school student and college undergraduate and was shaped by his studies under Philip Staniford at San Diego State University and his dissertation research at the Universität Hamburg (Germany).
Although his primary focus today is on providing his students with the best possible introduction to anthropological thinking that he can provide, John continues to follow and write on topics related to consciousness, especially the cultural construction of altered states. He is the co-author (with Michael Winkelman) of Supernatural as Natural: A Biocultural Approach to Religion.
John has been a member of the AAC (formerly SAC) since 1990. In his previous terms as board member and as President, he worked diligently to ensure that our organization stood on solid financial and membership ground. His primary focus as current AAC President is to recruit a new generation of members and leaders so that the AAC can continue as a viable section of the AAA for many years to come.
Coming from a long career in public school education, it is refreshing to be part of this association that is dedicated to exploring the quirky, experiential side of anthropology. I enjoy contributing graphic arts to our promotional efforts, bringing my musical talents to lend some atmosphere, and concocting engaging presentations for our meetings.
Christian Frenopoulo is interested in issues of religion and health care. He has researched health care for an indigenous people, an ayahuasca church, and other topics. His regional focus has been the south-western Brazilian Amazon. He is an anthropologist trained in medical anthropology and public health.
Tiffany-Ashton Gatsby (they/them) is a QueerCrip artist, activist, and doctoral student in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Washington in Seattle and an affiliate in the Disability Studies Department. Their work focuses on utilizing socially engaged art as a novel research methodology to delve into the QueerCrip community and those individuals that experience unintentional harm and trauma while seeking medical care and how psychedelic interventions can provide community-level healing. They are currently involved in a campuswide wayfinding art installation project at the University of Washington to improve ADA accessibility invitingly and interactively. Tiffany-Ashton received their BA from the University of Washington with a double major in Medical Anthropology and Global Health & Interdisciplinary Visual Arts, graduating summa cum laude, and was the recipient of the President’s Medal for obtaining the most distinguished academic record in the 2022 graduating class.
B.A. Albion College, Anthropology, with a minor in Public Policy
M.A./Ph.D. University of Michigan, Anthropology
I am a Professor of Anthropology specializing in cultural anthropology. I came to University of Alabama, Birmingham in 2022 after teaching for 25 years at the University of West Georgia. My areas of research interest include various topics in environment and health. Within the area of health, I have done the most recently in the study of drugs: I wrote a monograph on the drug khat, based on fieldwork in Madagascar (Drug Effects: Khat in Biocultural and Socioeconomic Perspective. Left Coast Press, 2012). More recently, I co-authored a text with Niel Carrier on the anthropology of drugs (Carrier, Neil & Lisa L. Gezon. The Anthropology of Drugs. New York, 2024). I am currently doing research on the use of psychedelics, doing ethnographic research with integration groups as well as research into discourses around psychedelics in an online forum. Before that, I published a monograph on conservation practices in Madagascar (Global Visions, Local Landscapes: A Political Ecology of Conservation, Conflict, and Control in Northern Madagascar. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2006). I am developing an interest in residential off-grid use of solar power in Madagascar.
I hold a PhD in Anthropology and Social Change from the California Institute of Integral Studies, an MA in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University, a BA in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from West Chester University, and I am currently working on a PhD in Depth Psychology with a specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices at Pacifica Graduate Institute.
I currently specialize in healing racial trauma and using tarot in therapeutic spaces. Current research interest is in decolonizing therapeutic spaces through the use of divination practices.
James Roszel is a PhD student in human geography at the University of Victoria, Canada. James has over twenty years’ experience in consulting with communities and corporations developing recycling solutions globally. His interest in consciousness stems from a curiosity to explore the depth of the traditional knowledge structures and how the variances among different worldviews approach universal waste management challenges.
Christopher Santiago (PhD, Columbia University, 2017); Positions Held: Substitute Lecturer (2019-2020) College of Staten Island (CUNY); Adjunct Professor (2018-2019 & 2020-2021) College of Staten Island; Adjunct Professor (2018) New York City College of Technology (CUNY); Adjunct Professor (2016) York College (CUNY); Interests and/or Activities: phantasm, social & environmental justice, participated in Q&A for the film “Máxima” with director Claudia Sparrow at NYU (2020); Significant Publications: “Hystorize from the Self: D.H. Lawrence and ‘The Lovely Lady'”, The Psychoanalytic Review, 2019. “Twilight States: Comparing Case Studies of Hysteria and Spirit Possession”, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 2021. “Blood Magic In The Age of Psychopathy, Mass Shootings and Ecological Catastrophe”, C. Santiago and M. Melmed, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 2022.
Based on years of fieldwork in Cajamarca, Peru, my research focuses on the theory and practice of cultural resistance in the form of dreams, songs, stories, and jokes which I call the shamanic aspects of the struggle against industrial extraction. The campesinos of Cajamarca say the lagoons and mountains lead the fight. Facing the death of the Earth, the resurgence of Pacha Mama consciousness in South America is a contemporary manifestation of Andean messianism. In our age of global meltdown, what is the ‘dreamweapon’ that would allow the voices of nature to speak once again? What is the potential of cultural forms widely considered false, fictitious, and counter to truth? Critiquing Western rationality, I call for the reenchantment of inner and outer nature. I seek to reverse the historical trauma that dissociates us from our imaginations and our bodies through the realization that, as the premodern West knew, there is no thought without a phantasm. Abolishing the reactive idealism which separates phantasy and reality, I revalue experience as mythological revolt, in an eruption of spirits. How was magic separated from history? How has the imagination been dominated and domesticated? How does this give rise to different temporalities of hysteria?
Dhardon Sharling is an educator, author, gender advocate, activist-leader and a former politician and bureaucrat at the Tibetan government in exile, India. She is a co-author of The Power of the Feminine: Facing Shadow Evoking Light (2021), and has been published as a contributing author for A Force Such as the World Has Never Known: Women Creating Change, (2013). As a Phd candidate at the department of Communication, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dhardon is using her extensive experience in digital advocacy to study how the new digital media can be harnessed in promoting human values especially in a COVID-19 world, and in the face of a looming climate crisis.She teaches Public Speaking and Writing as Communication to undergraduates at Umass. She runs her personal blog www.dhardonsharlingwrites.com.
Dhardon is working on her first book A female Dalai Lama: Intersecting gender, race, religion, and national identity.
MA: University of Chicago
MA/PhD: University of Washington
MSW: University of Washington
T32: Postdoctoral Fellowship – Harborview Medical Center
Nicole is a cultural anthropologist, ecotherapist, and licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW). She is an Assistant Professor at Western Washington University in the Department of Health and Community Studies. Dr. Torres is also the owner of Inner Tapestries Counseling, where she provides culturally responsive training, counseling, and clinical supervision grounded in psychoanalytical perspectives and expressive arts. Her current academic research focuses on gathering perspectives on the “Psychedelic Renaissance,” especially among ethnoracial minorities in the United States.