Shamans, senses and synaesthesia: the art of vision 
Hope MacLean (University of Ottawa)
Cheryl Gaver (University of Ottawa)
Marie-Françoise Guédon (University of Ottawa)
Moving bodies: Shamanism, Spiritualism and Reliogiosity/Corps mouvants: Shamanisme, spiritisme et religiosité
MRT 211
Start time:
2 May, 2017 at 13:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This panel focuses on the sensory experience in shamanism, altered states of consciousness, trance and synaesthesia. We ask what ethnographic accounts of movement between senses can teach us about human potential, healing, inter-species communication and the neuro-chemistry of the brain.

Long Abstract:

Colour is the language the gods use to speak." "My pain has colours." "Animal minds communicate with sounds and songs." What do these phrases mean? How do we interpret sensual statements that have no clear meaning or interpretation in English or in Western scientific discourse? The ancient ontologies of shamanistic cultures have explored movements between animal and plant worlds, as well as through landscapes, that point the way to new understandings of human potential, especially in ways of perceiving and the neuro-chemistry of the brain. We are looking for stories, art, fieldwork accounts and juxtapositions that reflect a different understanding of the way our senses move, cross and interact. Altered states of consciousness, trance states, and synaesthesia are all possible avenues for sensing the world in unexpected ways. Shamans may make a specialty of it. Experiential interpretations are welcome.

Accepted papers: