The Working Group on Plants and Religion at the University of Florida (UF) is hosting a symposium entitled “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Plants and Religion,” to be held 15-17 December 2011. The symposium will explore human-plant relationships in the realm of the sacred. Of special interest this year is the religious use of psychoactive plants, but there will be several sessions to encourage and welcome participants from a broad range of perspectives on the religious use of plants.
◊◊ Keynote Speakers ◊◊
Bia Labate: Beatriz Caiuby Labate has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of psychoactive substances, drug policies, shamanism, ritual, and religion. Since 2009, she has been a Research Associate at the Institute of Medical Psychology, Heidelberg University. She is also researcher with the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP), and editor of its website. She is author, co-author, and co-editor of eight books, two in English translation, and one journal special edition. Her book, A Reinvenção do Uso da Ayahuasca nos Centros Urbanos (The Reinvention of Ayahuasca Use in Urban Centers, Mercado de Letras, 2004), was derived from her Master’s thesis, which received the prize for Best Thesis in Social Sciences from the National Association for Graduate Studies in Social Science (ANPOCS) in 2000. For more information, see her website.
Edward MacRae was born in Sao Paulo and raised in Great Britain, where he graduated in Social Psychology from the University of Sussex and received a master’s degree in Sociology of Latin America from the University of Essex. Back in Brazil, he studied anthropology at Unicamp and USP, completing his doctorate in 1986 with the dissertation “The militant homosexual in post-dictatorship Brazil.” Since then he has researched a range of drugs topics, initially at the Institute of Social Medicine and Criminology of the state of Sao Paulo–IMESC— and in the Program for Orientation and Attendance of Drug-dependencies– PROAD/EPM. A former member of the Sao Paulo State Narcotics Council, he currently teaches anthropology at the Federal University of Bahia, and works with the Center for Drug Abuse Studies and Therapy – CETAD/UFBA. He is a representative of the Ministry of Culture on the National Anti-Drugs Council and a member of its Scientific-Technical Advisory Chamber. He has written books on sexuality, social movements, and the socially integrated use of psychoactive substances and harm reduction associated to the use of drugs.
◊◊ Outline of Sessions ◊◊