2 April 2021: Podcast I Merlin Sheldrake & David Abram
9 April 2021: Live Q&A I Merlin Sheldrake & David Abram (chaired by Alice Tarbuck)
David Abram’s seminal The Spell of the Sensuous (1997) argued that disdain for magic produced, in the West, a distorted rather than enlightened sense of the non-human world. Merlin Sheldrake’s recent work explores what Abram calls the “more-than-human” quality of nonhuman presences, and together David and Merlin examine what it means to live “humanly” in a more-than-human world of entangled lifeforms.
David Abram is a cultural ecologist, philosopher and sleight-of-hand magician whose influential work, The Spell of the Sensuous: Language and Perception in a More-than-human World (1997), demonstrated the parallels between animism and eco-phenomenology and brought non-Western ontologies into dialogue with Western metaphysics. Abram is especially interested in language and has done important work on the ethics of speech and how it relates to the environment of things named. Abram holds a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is Founder and Creative Director of the Alliance for Wild Ethics: https://wildethics.org.
Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures. He received a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Cambridge University for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Merlin’s is a keen brewer and fermenter, and is fascinated by the relationships that arise between humans and more-than-human organisms. Find out more at merlinsheldrake.com.
Chair: Alice Tarbuck is a poet and academic based in Edinburgh. Alice is the author of A Spell in the Wild: A Year and Six Centuries of Magic (2020).