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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Luhrmann to Speak at UNCC Witherspoon Lecture

Jan 29, 2019 03:25PM

The 35th annual Loy H. Witherspoon Lecture, the longest-running lecture series at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, will present Tanya Marie Luhrmann, the Watkins University Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University, as its featured speaker at 7 p.m. on February 5 at the college’s Charlotte Center City Auditorium. Her speech, preceded by a 6 p.m. reception, will be titled “Shamans and Schizophrenia: How Religious Practice May Change Psychotic Experience,” highlighting her research into psychosis and its different manifestations across cultures.

The work of Luhrmann, who has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air,” at the Chicago Humanities Festival and many other forums, focuses on the edge of experience on voices, visions, and the worlds of the supernatural and psychosis.

She has done ethnography in Chicago with homeless and psychotic women, and has worked with people who hear voices in Chennai, Accra and the South Bay, using a combination of ethnographic and experimental methods to understand the phenomenology of unusual sensory experiences, the way they are shaped by ideas about minds and persons, and what we can learn from this social shaping that can help us to help those whose voices are distressing.


Free admission. Location: UNC Center City Auditorium, 320 E. 9th St., 2nd Fl. For more information or to RSVP (required), visit or

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