Studium Generale: Christian Greer & melanie bonajo

Navigating Psychedelic Dimensions

In this session, melanie bonajo will speak with Dr. Christian Greer about psychedelic substances and their connection to various strains of esoteric spirituality. The conversation will offer an exploration of psychedelic experimentations from the past, present, and the future, though special attention will be paid to the contemporary moment, and the problems that define it. Such key issues include climate change activism, Black Lives Matters, social media addiction, and the psychological effects of the pandemic. In addition to these topics, melanie and Christian will discuss their own, embodied experiences in and around the world of witchcraft, and its revitalization by psychedelic substances.

Pre-read/watch/listen material

J. Christian Greer is a scholar of esotericism with a special focus on psychedelic spirituality. In addition to earning an MDiv at Harvard Divinity School, he received his MA and PhD in Western esotericism from the History of Hermetic Philosophy department at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). His research addresses Popular Culture & Religion, Radical Politics & Religious Activism, Ecological Spiritualities, and Drugs & Religion.

His forthcoming book, Angelheaded Hipsters: Psychedelic Militancy in Nineteen Eighties North America (Oxford University Press), analyzes the growth, diversification, and expansion of psychedelic culture within fanzine networks in the late Cold War era. In addition to occupying a postdoctoral position at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University, he teaches the “Visions of the Occult: Introduction to Esotericism” seminar each summer and winter at UvA.

melanie bonajo (they/them). Through their films, performances, music and installations, they study subjects related to how technological advances and commodity-based pleasures increase feelings of alienation, removing a sense of belonging in an individual. Captivated by concepts of the divine, Bonajo explores the spiritual emptiness of her generation, the erosion of intimacy, examines peoples’ shifting relationship with nature and tries to understand existential questions by reflecting on our domestic situation, ideas around classification, concepts of home, non-humans, technology, gender and attitudes towards value.

Part of the Studium Generale lecture series:
Wxtch Craft: Your Name is Medicine Over My Kin (Fall Cycle '21/'22):



18 november 2021 19.30 - 21:00