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  • Jonathan Isserow

Psychedelic Anthropology

You might be wondering what is the relationship between a course in Psychedelic Anthropology at University of Colorado Denver and men's mental health? I had the unique opportunity to spend two days with Prof Marty Otanez and eleven students engaged in making digital stories in the course 'Psychedelic Anthropology'. Marty draws on digital story making developed by the StoryCentre and integrates this within an academic content so that students critically generate a particular kind of audio-visual knowledge, often gleaned from deeply personal experiences. Marty's enthusiasm for this methodology is infectious and he manages to help students weave intellectual rigour, while developing the aesthetic and emotional impact of the short digital story. His work also includes using digital stories to make visible BIPOC stories of BIPOC student, staff or faculty member at CU Denver. The Psychedelic Anthropology workshop culminated in showcasing the students' digital stories at evening event and it was moving to witness students' stories in relation to the subject. I have been impressed by the students' creativity, courage and sheer brilliance. Thanks to Marty and his students for generously allowing me to visit.

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