Narrating the Transformative Event: Women's Experiences of Psychedelics

Monday, 22 April 2013, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Hosted by the Women's Visionary Congress

This workshop focuses on the role of lived experience in research inquiry. While we recognize that the approaches of quantitative science associated with the modern Western mindset are valid and useful for some purposes, they are less so for others. We seek to complement the research approach that is directed at the discovery of universal laws or general principles that provide the possibility of prediction, control and explanation with a research approach that aims for full description, understanding, and appreciation of individual cases or instances.

In this workshop we will focus on the portion of the matter and history of psychedelic experience that is too complex, too rich and too contextualized to be amenable to study using simple analytical designs. In an open discussion with participants as co-researchers, we will explore the lived experiences of participants, and consider the use of non-ordinary states of consciousness to access, process and share knowledge. In particular we will consider the dynamic interaction of personal explorations and processes with larger societal and political processes in terms of the concept of "matrix" as defined by Betty Grover Eisner: The environment (1) from which an individual comes, (2) in which the individual lives during the time of the sessions, and (3) to which the individual returns. We will also explore public issues and public responses to psychedelic drugs and drug users, as well as the cultural impact and legacy of these experiences and individuals.

See:
Braud, W. & Anderson, R., (1998) Conventional and expanded views of research. Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences.
Eisner, B. G., (1997) Set, setting and matrix. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 29 (2) 213-16v

Mariavittoria Mangini, PhD, FNP, has been a family nurse midwife for twenty five years. She has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries, and has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. Her current project is the development of a "death midwifery" practice providing services to dying persons and their families.

Annie Oak is the founder of the Women's Visionary Congress (WVC). She is a journalist and businesswoman who creates gatherings that celebrate the work of visionary women. Annie is a student of tea and launched the Full Circle Tea House to help hydrate and hold space for people attending art and music festivals. When not planning hiking trips to wilderness areas, Annie is writing a book that profiles WVC presenters.

Diana Reed Slattery is a novelist, psychonaut, xenolinguist, and video performance artist. She completed a Ph.D. in psychedelics and language at the University of Plymouth, UK, in 2010. Her day jobs have included the co-founding of an alternative K-12 school, founding director of a non-profit construction and development organization, and years of creative toil in software design, development, and project management. She currently occupies the McKenna Chair of Xenolinguistics at the Institute for the Encouragement of Outrageous Ideas.