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Anthropology of Consciousness

Anthropology of Consciousness is the peer-reviewed journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness (SAC), a division of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). In accordance with the core goals of the AAA, our journal seeks to further the professional interests of anthropologists and other scholars through the dissemination of anthropological knowledge and its uses to address human problems. More specifically, we are interested in contributing to the dialogue surrounding cross-cultural, experimental, experiential, and theoretical approaches to the study of consciousness. To that end, we publish articles, interviews, and book reviews that focus on the study of consciousness and/or its practical application to contemporary issues. We encourage a broad conception of consciousness, including such topics as altered states of consciousness; class consciousness; medicine and healing; drugs and pharmaceuticals; feminism; religion and spirituality; shamanistic, mediumistic, and mystical traditions; indigenous healing practices, linguistic, philosophical, social and symbolic studies; cultural psychology; phenomenology and existentialism; and psychological anthropology. We are especially interested in contributing to the anthropology of health and healing, including how local healing systems, and the forms of conscious and unconscious experience they enlist, are evolving and adapting amid the expansion of biomedicine, psychiatry, expertise, pharmaceutical logics, and biotechnology. We encourage authors to reflect upon how particular case studies, ethnographic materials, or phenomenological accounts speak to theoretical perspectives on how large-scale systems and global processes shape mental life and subjective and social experience under diverse circumstances. Anthropology of Consciousness publishes rigorous and empirically based inquiries into the study of consciousness that utilize diverse methodologies, including ethnographic, scientific, experiential, historical, and alternative ways of knowing. We value interdisciplinary perspectives, respect diverse traditions, and prioritize inclusiveness and open dialogue in the study of the anthropology of consciousness. As part of advancing these initiatives we are publishing a series of ‘special issues,’ one per year, a means of culturing a transdisciplinary conversation about matters of consciousness by bringing voices from outside of the academy—including scientists and policy makers, clinicians and patients, ordinary people and ritual experts—into meaningful dialogue with anthropologists.

Recent issues have included articles such as:

  • "Learning from the Spirits: Candomblé, Umbanda, and Kardecismo in Recife, Brazil" by Stanley Krippner
  • "Encountering the Wilderness, Encountering the Mist: Nature, Romanticism, and Contemporary Paganism" by Vanessa Sage
  • "The Machinery of Consciousness: A Cautionary Tale" by Steven Mentor
  • "The Use of Water as a Medium for Altered States of Consciousness in Early Jewish Mysticism: A Cross-Disciplinary Analysis" by Geoffrey W. Dennis
  • "The Living and the Lost: War and Possession in Vietnam" by Mai Lan Gustafsson

Editorial Staff

  • Co-Managing Editor: Rebecca Lester, Washington University, and Peter Benson, Washington University
  • Assistant Editor: Tanya Collings, aocjournal@gmail.com

Associate Editors

  • John Baker, Moorpark College
  • Joao Biehl, Princeton University
  • Thomas Brown, University of California-San Diego
  • Etzel Cardeña, Lund University
  • E. Valentine Daniel, Columbia University
  • Lydia Nakashima Degarrod, California College of the Arts
  • Robert Desjarlais, Sarah Lawrence College
  • Omar al Dewachi, University of Beirut
  • Charlie Flowerday, University of Nebraska
  • Bethe Hagens, Goddard College and Walden University
  • Dorothy Holland, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Peter Jones, The Bauu Institute
  • Laurence Kirmayer, McGill University
  • William Lachicotte, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Steven Lansky, St. Johns University
  • Tanya Luhrmann, Stanford University
  • Jonathan Metzl, Vanderbilt University
  • Patricia Monaghan, DePaul University
  • Kevin Lewis O’Neill, University of Toronto
  • Adam Rock, Deakin University
  • Crickette Sanz, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Jason Throop, University of California-Los Angeles
  • Hillary S. Webb, Goddard College
  • James Wertsch, Washington University in St. Louis

Editorial Consultants

  • Erika Bourguignon, Ohio State University
  • Charles S. Grobb, UCLA Medical Center
  • Stanley Krippner, Saybrook Graduate School
  • Edith Turner, University of Virginia
  • Michael Winkelman, Arizona State University


Anthropology of Consciousness is published semiannually (March and September) on behalf of American Anthropological Association by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Commerce Place, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148; Telephone: 781 388 8200; Fax: 781 388 8210. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. is now part of John Wiley & Sons. The journal is available by annual membership in the American Anthropological Association and the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, and by separate annual subscription.

For the most recent subscription prices and information as well as other pricing options, including access information and terms and conditions, please visit http://www.wiley.com/bw/subs.asp?ref=1053-4202&site=1. Back issues can also be ordered from this address.

Submission Information

Anthropology of Consciousness accepts research articles, book reviews, and commentary from anthropologists from all fields who are concerned with the various aspects of this area of inquiry. We also welcome submissions from scholars in other disciplines, both humanities and sciences. Submissions are accepted electronically, via the ScholarOne website. To submit an article, log on to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/anoc and follow the instructions provided. Address all other inquiries to the Managing Editors: Rebecca Lester (rjlester@artsci.wustl.edu), and/or Peter Benson (pbenson@artsci.wustl.edu), Campus Box 1114, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130.

Author Guidelines

In order to be considered for publication in Anthropology of Consciousness, submissions should center relevantly around a "consciousness" theme. In general, research articles should be between 8,000-10,000 words and book reviews between 800-1,000 words. Articles should include original research, a discussion of existing research, or an informed theoretical argument. They should include an abstract (150 word maximum), discussion of methodologies used, references to similar, previous research studies (if appropriate), in-text citations, and a bibliography. However, because we encourage research that explores alternative methods of data gathering, analysis, and interpretation, we will also consider articles of different lengths or styles on a case-by-case basis.

The journal follows the most current edition of The Chicago Manual of Style on most matters such as hyphenation, capitalization, punctuation, abbreviation, and grammar-but defers to certain exceptions adopted in the Style Guide of the American Anthropological Association (available for free download at http://www.aaanet.org). Manuscript submissions should be prepared in accordance with the stylistic guidelines contained within.

The average turnaround time for manuscript consideration is 4-5 months. However, this time frame will vary depending on multiple factors. We will contact you electronically to let you know if your paper has or has not been accepted for publication.

Review Index

This Review Index lists reviews that have appeared in AOC from Vol. 1 (1990) through Vol. 7 (1996).  A new index encompassing all volumes through Vol. 10 (1999) is currently in preparation.  Titles are followed by the names of authors, editors, or filmmakers. Citations refer to volume and issue in which the review was published (see AOC Tables of Contents).

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Adventure: Search for the Yeti [Video], 2(1-2).

Affecting Performance: Meaning, Movement and Experience in an Okiek Women's Initiation (Corinne A. Kratz), 6(2).

An Alien Harvest (Linda Moulton Howe), 3(1-2).

Amazon Healer: The Life and Times of an Urban Shaman (Marlene Dobkin de Rios), 4(4).

Andean Cosmologies through Time: Persistence and Emergence (Robert V. H. Dover, Katherine E. Seibold, and John H. McDowell, eds.), 4(4).


Bigfoot: The Mysterious Monster [Video], 2(1-2).

Black Elk's Story: Distinguishing its Lakota Purpose (Julian Rice), 3(1-2).

A Brazilian Pilgrimage [Video] (Sidney Greenfield and John B. Gray), 4(1).

Body and Emotion: The Aesthetics of Illness and Healing in the Nepal Himalayas (Robert R. Desjarlais), 5(4).


California Indian Shamanism (Lowell John Bean, ed.), 5(1).

Cambridge Archaeological Journal (Chris Scarre, ed.), 4(2).

Completing Distinctions (Douglas G. Flemons), 4(1).

Consciousness Evolution (Janet Lee Mitchell), 1(3-4).

Cultivating Consciousness: Enhancing Human Potential, Wellness, and Healing (edited by K. Ramakrishna Rao), 7(2).


Dreaming: Anthropological and Psychological Reflections (edited by Barbara Tedlock), 4(2).

Dreamtime and Inner Space: The World of the Shaman (Holger Kalweit), 2(1-2).

Dreamwork, Anthropology and the Curing Professions: A Cultural Approach to Dreamwork (Ian R. Edgar), 7(2).


Eagle Down is Our Law: Witsuwit'en Law, Feasts and Land Claims (Antonia Mills), 7(2).

Ecstasy, Ritual and Alternate Reality: Religion in a Pluralistic World (Felicitas D. Goodman), 4(1).

Experiencing Ritual: A New Interpretation of African Healing (Edith Turner), 4(2).

Eve's Journey: Feminine Images in Hebraic Literary Tradition (Nahama Aschenasy), 2(3-4).


Food of the Gods: The Search of the Original Tree of Knowledge (Terence McKenna), 6(1).

The Forge and the Spirit: Structure, Motion, and Meaning in the Japanese Martial Art Tradition (John J. Donahue), 4(1).


The Gateway to Inner Space: Sacred Plants, Mysticism and Psychotherapy (edited by Christian Rätsch), 3(3-4).


Handmaidens of the Lord: Pentecostal Women Preachers and Traditional Religion (Elaine Lawless), 2(3-4).


Illuminating Shadows: The Mythic Power of Film (Geoffery Hill), 4(1).

In the Shadow of Bigfoot [Video], 2(1-2).

Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise (Ronald Siegel), 2(1-2).


Jose Carlos and His Spirits [Video] (Sidney Greenfield and John Gray), 4(1).


Knowing Woman: A Feminine Psychology (Irene Claremont de Castillejo), 2(3-4).


Language: The Loaded Weapon (Dwight Bolinger), 1(3-4).

The Legend of Bigfoot [Video], 2(1-2).

The Legend of Boggy Creek [Video], 2(1-2).


Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream (Greg Sarris), 7(3).

Mammy Water: In Search of the Water Spirits of Nigeria [Video] (Sabine Jell-Bahlsen), 4(2).

A Month for the Entertainment of Spirits [Video] (Keen Gibson), 4(2).

Magic, Witchcraft, and Paganism in America: A Bibliography (J. Gordon Melton), 1(3-4).

Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn (Karen McCarthy Brown), 2(3-4).

Medicine Women, Curanderos, and Women Doctors (Bobette Perrone, H. Henrietta Stockel, and Victoria Krueger), 2(3-4).

The Meeting of Science and Spirit: Guidelines for a New Age (John White), 4(2).

Monsters! Mysteries or Myths? [Video], 1(3-4).

Moving Crucifixes in Modern Spain (William A. Christian, Jr ), 5(1).


The Nature of Shamanism: Substance and Function of a Religious Metaphor (Michael Ripinsky-Naxon), 7(2).

Ngoma: Discourses of Healing in Central and Southern Africa (John M. Janzen), 4(4).



Portals of Power: Shamanism in South America (edited by E. Jean Matteson Langdon and Gerhard Baer), 6(1).

A Psychiatrist in Paradise: Treating Mental Illness in Bali (Denny Thong), 5(4).



Raw Feeling: A Philosophical Account of the Essence of Consciousness (Robert Kirk), 7(2).

The Religious Imagination in New Guinea (edited by Gilbert Herdt and Michelle Stephen), 2(1-2).

The Return of Dr. Fritz [Video] (Sidney Greenfield and John B. Gray), 4(1).


The Sacred Self: A Cultural Phenomenology of Charismatic Healing (Thomas J. Csordas), 6(2).

Samba in the Night: Spiritism in Brazil (David Hess), 6(1).

Sasquatch [Video], 2(1-2).

Schamanismus und Rituelle Heilen im Alten Peru [Shamanism and Ritualistic Healing in Ancient Peru] (Walter Andritzky), 1(3-4).

Science in the New Age: The Paranormal, Its Defenders and Debunkers, and American Culture (David Hess), 6(1).

Self and Consciousness: Multiple Perspectives (Frank S. Kessel, Pamela M. Cole, and Dale L. Johnson, eds.), 5(4).

Shamanic Healing and Ritual Drama: Health and Medicine in Native North America (Ake Hultkrantz), 5(4).

Shamanism: Soviet Studies of Traditional Religion in Siberia and Central Asia (Marjorie M. Balzer, ed.), 4(1).

Shamanism and Altered States of Consciousness (Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 21[1], 1989) (Marlene Dobkin de Rios and Michael Winkelman, eds.), 1(1-2).

Shamanism and the Eighteenth Century (Gloria Flaherty), 4(4).

Shamans, Priests and Witches: A Cross-Cultural Study of Magico-Religious Practitioners (Michael. Winkelman), 4(1).

Sorcery and Shamanism: Curanderos and Clients in Northern Peru (Donald Joralemon and Douglas Sharon), 7(2).

Spiritist Healing in Brazil [Video](Sidney Greenfield and John B. Gray), 4(1).

Spiritual Dimensions of Healing: From Native Shamanism to Contemporary Health Care (Stanley Krippner and Patrick Welch), 4(4).

The Straight Path (Richard Katz), 5(4).


Tools, Language and Cognition in Human Evolution (edited by Kathleen Gibson and Tim Ingold), 7(2).

Trance and Possession in Bali: A Window on Western Multiple Personality, Possession Disorder, and Suicide (Luh Ketut Suryani and Gordon D. Jensen), 6(1).




Of Water and the Spirit: Ritual, Magic and Initiation in the Life of an African Shaman (Malidoma Patrick Somé), 6(2).

Weaving the Threads of Life: The Khita Gyn-Eco-Logical Healing Cult among the Yaka (René Devisch), 7(2).

The Wilderness of Dreams: Exploring the Religious Meanings of Dreams in Modern Western Culture (Kelly Bulkely), 6(2).

Witness to the Fire: Creativity and the Veil of Addiction (Linda Schierse Leonard), 3(1-2).

Women's Mysteries, Ancient and Modern (Esther Harding), 2(3-4).



Yearbook of Cross-Cultural Medicine and Psychiatry, 1990 (Walter Andritzky, ed.), 3(3-4).


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