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Mary Neuburger, Director BUR 452, 2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-3607

Spring 2010

REE 325 • Shamanism: Voyages of the Soul

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
45503 MW
5:00 PM-6:30 PM
MEZ 2.118

Course Description

This course introduces student to Shamanism in a number of different cultures. Shamans are human beings chosen by spirits, who teach them to fly to the spirit world in a trance in order to mediate between the two worlds. Shamanic motifs of striking similarity occur in widely separated areas of the world, such as a tree connecting earth and heaven. If one assumes that spirits exist, that they affect our world, and that they exist in a different world from ours, then it follows that when things are disrupted in this world, someone must travel into the other world to bring harmony between human beings and spirits. The class will explore themes such as trance, ecstasy, cosmological maps, voyages of the soul, the causes and diagnosis of illness, and healing methods. Students will learn about the role of music in inducing trance, the shaman's drum, cave paintings and urban shamanism in the United States. We will view films from different parts of the world to learn how shamanism has been practiced over space and time.

Grading Policy

Midterm 30% Paper 30% (five pages) Final Exam 40%


Parades Center for Cultural Studies (UT): An Introduction to Shamanism by Thomas A. DuBois A course packet will be available for purchase.


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