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Thread: Guest Lecture!

  1. #1
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    Default Guest Lecture!

    Hey, all. I'm going to be giving a guest lecture this coming winter semester (Winter 2013) at American University. It's going to be presented in a class called "Taboos," which objectively examines persons, products, and practices that society might surround with fear and who have identities considered discrepant. Despite how the course may sound, it is an objective, open-minded, and respectful course. I have taken it in the past and there is a strong emphasis on respect and understanding (if there had not been, I would not have agreed to give the lecture). The professor is one of the two whom I had approached when I was conducting my brief spurt of fieldwork back in the beginning of the month.

    The lecture is going to be tentatively entitled “Therianthropy: Identity and Experience". It is based upon analysis of public articles found on Project Shift and the Werelibrary as well as discussions with consenting collaborators who have been brainstorming this lecture with me. It seeks to examine therianthropy, how the therian identity affects one's behaviour and mindset, and will feature a class-based discussion on the social implications of identifying as a therianthrope.

    Right now the professor and I are planning on having the class period be open and will be videotaping the lecture. Should there be enough interest (and should we be able to master the technology :]) the lecture will also be livestreamed. The date is presently to be determined in early 2013. I do know, however, that the class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00pm-5:15pm US Eastern Time (GMT -5). Would anybody be interested in viewing the livestream, should there be one?

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't be able to view the livestream, as I work those hours, but I'd definitely be interested in viewing a recording thereof.

  3. #3
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    That's awesome, and please let us know if we may host a recording or transcript.

  4. #4
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    Our system would be able to attend a livestream at least if daily schedule continues like it is right now. That does seem interesting though. Either way though even just a recording would be also interesting.

    - Earth Listener

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC-Anthropologist View Post
    The lecture is going to be tentatively entitled “Therianthropy: Identity and Experience". It is based upon analysis of public articles found on Project Shift and the Werelibrary as well as discussions with consenting collaborators who have been brainstorming this lecture with me. It seeks to examine therianthropy, how the therian identity affects one's behaviour and mindset, and will feature a class-based discussion on the social implications of identifying as a therianthrope.
    In my personal experience as well as in my observations of the therian community since the 1990's, the therianthropic experience is not primarily about self or group identity for a substantive number of participants. Other participants do seem to consider their therian identity to be central or relevant to their lives, or to their social identity.

    There are some generally observable differences between the other reported experiences of the 'social identity' emphasizing therians and the ones who do not report a strong sense of therian social or self identity.

    I've covered this much more extensively in the document available here: http://www.werelist.net/forums/showt...208#post191208 but I thought it was worth mentioning again. You'd be overlooking what I think is likely to be a fairly major factor in the etiology of this condition if you treat therianthropy as a subset of identity rather than as an overall condition that may or may not be strongly associated with identity. As an example, people on the autistic spectrum report a number of common symptoms and experiences, and are likely to know that they have this condition. They are fairly unlikely to make their condition a major focus of their personal or social identity, though some may choose to do so.

    In short, I think you'd basically be confusing cause and effect in many cases if you labeled therianthropy as a subset of personal identity. It certainly can be, but the condition is considerably more complex than that.

  6. #6

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    I think it's fine to look at it as an identity since it's not falsifiably anything else yet. It should just be emphasized that therianthropy is not the identity or characteristic that affects people and to say that it is is a cause and effect fallacy. The identity is being a non human animal, and that is what is a major part of their identity, although not necessarily always consciously. But as there are animal-identified people who aren't therianthropes, that can be brushed on a little I guess.

  7. #7
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    This sounds awesome, I'd love to watch the lecture online!

    Well actually... I live about 30 minutes away from the university (and also travel to work in DC). You don't think it would be alright for me to sit in on the lecture, would it? I swear I'd just keep to myself, listen, and blend in with everyone else. However, I am assuming there has to be some kind of law preventing people whom aren't registered with the university doing this.

    I would also think about doing a little guest speaking about my personal therianthropy, but alas, being publicly known as a therian probably would not sit well with my current career and job situation.

    regardless, I am very much looking forward to it!

  8. #8
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    I want to make sure I have this right (and any confusion could be a result of minor amounts of sleep deprivation or my relative newness to the community). So based on what I'm being told, therianthropy is the condition and that those who make the condition a primary part of their identity are called therianthropes, correct? Based on what you have told me, I think I will be taking a broad approach by examining the condition and adding a caveat that therianthropy as a whole is a very broad and overarching topic of discussion that to discuss all the identities that fall within it would take longer than the allotted class period.

    Edit: If not, please feel free to correct me. I want to keep this as accurate as possible.

    Edit 2: Also, if this is the case, I may switch the title to "Therianthropy: Human Body, Animal Identity" or something along the lines. Feel free to suggest titles as I'm horrible at it.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage View Post
    In my personal experience as well as in my observations of the therian community since the 1990's, the therianthropic experience is not primarily about self or group identity for a substantive number of participants. Other participants do seem to consider their therian identity to be central or relevant to their lives, or to their social identity.
    Would you care to elaborate, Savage? I've generally come to think of theriantropy in terms of internal identity. I feel like identifying as canine gives a unifying perspective to my own set of unusual experiences and instincts. I think that I would have these characteristics without the canine lable, so I don't think that the lable is causal, but I do think that the understanding of those experiences in the way that I have does shape my understanding of who I am and thus my identity. I wonder if I am understanding the word identity in a different way than you are using it?

    Oh, and DC, I'm excited that you'll be talking about us (you seem like a thoughtful and nonjudgmental person from your conduct here). I'd really like to see your lecture, but it might be hard for me to organize my day to make it to a live stream. Is there any chance you could put it up in a non-live format?

  10. #10
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    Of course, Cognitive Dissonance. I also hope to record this for viewing after the lecture as well. ^^

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