Michael Harner was honored with special academic recognition through the presentation of sessions dedicated to him at the recent annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Philadelphia. Three organizations of the AAA joined together to recognize him for his “pioneering work” in shamanism “as an academic and advocate” and for his role during the last forty years in the “exponential growth in anthropological studies of the importance and significance” of shamanism. The organizations were the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, the Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, and the Society for Humanistic Anthropology.
Presenting papers by invitation, on December 5, 2009, twenty-one distinguished scholars participated in morning and afternoon sessions dedicated to shamanism. The morning session was devoted to shamanism in South America and the afternoon one to other cultures of the world. Presenters came from as far away as England, Brazil, and Costa Rica, as well as from throughout the United States for the occasion. Institutions represented were the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Illinois, George Washington University, the University of New Orleans, the University of Liverpool, the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, the State University of New York (Buffalo), the University of Colorado, the Institute of Andean Studies, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (Sandra Harner and Frank Lipp), Vanderbilt University, Monmouth University, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, Tulane University, Kansas State University, and the American Museum of Natural History.
The presentations are expected to be expanded to form a Festschrift, a celebratory book in Dr. Harner’s honor.