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  • Friday, June 26, 2015 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Fisher-Bennett Faculty Lounge, 3340 Walnut Street

You are cordially invited to attend Nese Davenot's defense  of her dissertation, "Altered States/Other Worlds: Romanticism, Nitrous Oxide, and the Literary Prehistory of Psychedelia."

The dissertation engages with Romantic poetry as an early prototype of present-day psychedelic psychotherapy, since both activities explicitly aim to promote psychological healing by inducing ecstatic states of consciousness. These modalities assume that by briefly experiencing cognition beyond one’s sense of familiar personality, an individual can productively recontextualize the stresses of living in modern society. In drawing this connection, the dissertation emphasizes the presence of scientific methodology in what we usually view as Romantic “nature” poetry, and it connects psychedelic psychotherapy to a long intellectual tradition much older than 1960s psychedelia.

Optional preparatory reading: Michael Pollan, "The Trip Treatment" in The New Yorker, February 9, 2015 issue:

Thanks to my fellow committee members Michael Gamer, John Tresch, and Rich Doyle.