Studium Generale: Janice Lee & Johanna Hedva

Speaking with the Dead: Janice Lee and Johanna Hedva on Death-Craft

Engaging with their ancestral practices of Korean shamanism, as well as different lineages of necromancy and divination, Janice Lee and Johanna Hedva work with the dead as guides, familial allies, co-conspirators, and sometimes in more complexly thorny relationships.

In this conversation, Janice and Johanna will discuss how the space of writing—particularly fiction—can be a collaborative practice between multiple worlds, realities, and dimensions, especially with those worlds we can’t “see” or typically deemed as “real,” and how such alternate relationships with time, space, reality, and identity require new modes of engaging with craft.

What kinds of languages does speaking with the dead produce?
What does articulation mean when it crosses multiple generations?
How does necromancy create new forms as well as literacies?
What is the relationship between haunting and inheritance?
And what are the specters that haunt our work?

Pre-read/watch/listen material



Johanna Hedva
photo: Pamila Payna

Johanna Hedva (they/them) is a Korean-American writer, artist, musician, and astrologer, who was raised in Los Angeles by a family of witches, and now lives between LA and Berlin. Hedva is the author of Minerva the Miscarriage of the Brain (Sming Sming/Wolfman 2020), a collection of poems, performances, and essays, and the novel On Hell (Sator/Two Dollar Radio 2018). Their album Black Moon Lilith in Pisces in the 4th House, a doom-metal guitar and voice performance influenced by Korean shamanist ritual was released in January 2021, and their 2019 album The Sun and the Moon had two of its tracks played on the moon.

Their work has been shown in Berlin at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Klosterruine, and Institute of Cultural Inquiry; The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; Performance Space New York; the LA Architecture and Design Museum; and the Museum of Contemporary Art on the Moon. Their writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, frieze, The White Review, and is anthologized in Whitechapel: Documents of Contemporary Art. Their essay “Sick Woman Theory,” published in 2016 in Mask, has been translated into ten languages.

Janice Lee

Janice Lee (she/her) is a Korean-American writer, editor, teacher, and shamanic healer. She is the author of 7 books of fiction, creative nonfiction & poetry: KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), Imagine a Death (Texas Review Press, 2021), and Separation Anxiety (CLASH Books, 2022). A roundtable, unanimous dreamers chime in, a collaborative novel co-authored with Brenda Iijima, is also forthcoming in 2022 from Meekling Press.

She writes about interspecies communication, plants & personhood, the filmic long take, slowness, the apocalypse, architectural spaces, inherited trauma, and the concept of han in Korean culture, and asks the question, how do we hold space open while maintaining intimacy?

Incorporating shamanic and energetic healing, she teaches workshops on inherited trauma, healing, and writing, and practices in several lineages, including the Q'ero, Buddhism, plant & animal medicine, and Korean shamanic ritual (Muism). She is Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Co-Founder of The Accomplices LLC, and currently lives in Portland, OR where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Portland State University.
She can be found online at and Twitter/Instagram: @diddioz.

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



28 oktober 2021 19.30 - 21:00