Dr. Robert Phillips

Dr. Robert Phillips

<b>Department: </b>Anthropology<br><b>Research Area: </b>Investigating Relationships between marginalized communities and the ways in which they use entheogenic plants and fungi in the healing of trauma<br>

Department: Anthropology

Research Focus: As part of a new research agenda, I am looking at the relationships between marginalized communities and the ways in which they use entheogenic plants and fungi in the healing of trauma. I using the notion of culturally sensitive care as a lens through which to examine healing practices among Jewish, queer, and BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) communities. These practices involve the use of entheogenic plants and fungi, including psilocybin, mescaline, peyote, and iboga. I am especially interested in the rituals that accompany the use of these substances in that contemporary Jewish and BIPOC communities are looking back thousands of years for guidance. Queer users have developed their own rituals based on a shared culture. In addition to healing, I use fungi as a metaphor for the networks of care that have developed among and between these communities.

Potential Student Project(s): Potential projects include:

1. literature review and annotated bibliography;

2. transcribing video webinars and interviews (some transcription is automated); creating code books for data obtained from transcripts;

3. creating a corpus of text relating to the project and then using software for linguistic analysis;

4. academic skills prep - contributing to the writing of peer-reviewed articles and grants;

5. something else that the student thinks of that moves the project forward.

Attributes/skills/background sought in undergraduate:

1. Curiosity! This project involves medicinal plants and fungi, religious and cultural healing rituals, and healing trauma - I would like to have a student who is excited about these types of phenomena.

2. The ability to write well is desirable.

3. No specific background in terms of major.

Mentoring Plan: Though much of the work can be done remotely, I would like to meet 1-on-1 at least once a week, in person if possible, as well as maintain frequent communication. I am trying to make arrangements for a separate office area for the student to work independently.

I want to provide the student with a solid foundation in terms of how projects develop, get funded, are conducted, produce articles, etc.

Contact: 765-744-0980, 315 Burkhardt