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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures


Mexican Studies v. the Psychedelic Renaissance - Alberto Ribas-Casasayas

María Sabina and Robert Gordon Wasson at a table for a ceremony

Alberto Ribas-Casasayas's paper "Mexican Studies v. the Psychedelic Renaissance" was read _in absentia_ at the 26th Bruce-Novoa Mexican Studies Conference at UC Irvine. The paper addresses some cultural, social, and economic challenges posed by recent developments in the medical industry and some forms of spiritual and wellness tourism centered around psychedelic substances, with a focus on biopiracy, cultural appropriation, and other forms of abuse.

Image: 1955. The Mazatec healer María Sabina prepares a ceremony with 'ndi xitoj (the little sprouting ones) under the gaze of banker and ethnomycologist Robert Gordon Wasson. The ceremony would become the focus of a famous photo report in Life magazine two years later.

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