Welcome to Psychedemia

September 27th to 30th, University of Pennsylvania

3417 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Psychedemia is an academic conference hosted at the University of Pennsylvania from September 27-30, 2012. This conference will feature university scholars and researchers from across the country in the fields of medicine, psychology, neuroscience, ethics, rhetoric, and anthropology to discuss recent ideas and discoveries in psychedelic studies. Researchers will be brought together with clinicians and professionals in interdisciplinary symposia that will explore an array of culturally-pertinent subjects. We will question modern conceptions of health by exploring connections between our indigenous history with psychedelic medicine and the most recent medical and anthropological discoveries in alleviating symptoms of cancer, drug dependence, and depression with psilocybin and ayahuasca. We will explore how altered states of consciousness can be used as tools to learn more about the human mind, and we will discuss how these states affect well-being, creativity, social interaction, conceptions of culture, and artistic vision. We will discuss the current obstacles to performing such exploratory research with university researchers and drug policy advocates, and we will also discuss the ethics and social history of utilizing psychedelics as tools. Throughout the conference, we will learn about current inroads in academia and art that are promoting the idea that psychedelics can be explored rationally, responsibly, and to the benefit of humankind.


Together, this conference is poised to explore varied perspectives of a significant issue: as the psychedelic become more visible in media outlets such as the New York Times, Time Magazine, and Scientific American, it is vital to consider the impact of altered states of consciousness, and the means by which they are produced, from interdisciplinary and critical perspectives.


Sponsored in part by:


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“Psychedemia” is an amalgam of “psychedelic” and “academia”. “Psychedelic”, coined by Humphry Osmond in 1957, itself derives from “psyche” (mind) and “delos” (manifest) to suggest the “mind manifesting” qualities of certain psychoactive plants and chemicals. “Academia” comes from the Akademeia in ancient Greece, a sacred space dedicated to the goddess of wisdom. By extension, “academia” has come to refer to the accumulation and transmission of knowledge across communities and generations. While the Akademeia was named after the Greek hero Academos, a “demos” itself functioned in Ancient Greece as a polis in miniature. Eleusis, famed for its psychedelically-implicated Mysteries, was one such demos. In contemporary parlance, “polis” refers to “a state or society especially when characterized by a sense of community”. In total, Psychedemia is a sanctioned space for the academic and psychedelic communities to openly explore the science, art, and mysticism of psychedelic culture.


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View Our GalleriesView Our GalleriesContributing Visionary Artists

In addition to our panels of scientists, theorists and thought leaders, we are also happy to be offering showings of some of today’s finest visionary artists. Click here to view.


Participate in the ConferenceParticipate in the ConferenceAccepting Vendor Applications

We have some very exciting partnership opportunities for sponsors, vendors, and nonprofits. Our conference attendees appreciate the opportunity to do business with companies who support the psychedelic community. This is your chance to market your products and services exclusively to a vibrant community.

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