Graduate Student Travel Award Winner: Joshua Falcon

Congratulations to ADTSG’s 2021 Graduate Student Travel Award Winner, Joshua Falcon!

Joshua will be presenting a paper entitled “Psychedelics as Technologies of the Self: An Ethnographic and Netnographic Study on the Relationship Between Psilocybin Experiences and Subjectivity” at this year’s American Anthropological Association conference. 

Read on to learn more about Joshua’s research. 

Why did you choose to study anthropology?

As someone who has always appreciated distinct forms knowledge and learning through different modalities, my interest in anthropology came about as a natural fit. My early academic pursuits in both philosophy and religious studies were what initially spurred my curiosity of other ways of knowing and being in the world; however, my decision to become an anthropologist came about by recognizing that different societies and people perceive, live, and understand the world in innumerable ways. Anthropology also attracted my interest given that, as a discipline, it tends to ground the researcher through social engagements that help keep one out of the confines of ivory tower thinking and hubris. 

Why are you interested in alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research?

My work maintains affinities with alcohol, drugs, and tobacco research insofar as I engage directly with topics such as drug politics, the War on Drugs, the phenomenology of drug use, and the physiological effects of drugs. I feel that it is important to further research on drugs due to the history of stigmatization and illegalization of drugs that has led to innumerable socioenvironmental atrocities. 

What are your research plans for studying alcohol, drugs, and tobacco?

I feel that my research falls within the scope of ADTSG since my work involves ongoing research on psychedelic drug use in Miami, Florida, and the wider United States. My current project involves conducting 40 semi-structured interviews with individuals from Miami, Florida, while it also includes an analysis of 100 experience reports posted on online forums. The Source Research Foundation for psychedelic research helped to fund my project and serves as a valuable source of support for others researching similar topics.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?

Once I graduate, I plan to teach at a university as a full-time professor. Ideally, I would teach classes that center on human-environment relations, psychedelic drugs and culture, and critical posthumanism, to name a few areas of interest. Given that jobs in the social sciences at universities are becoming increasingly competitive and scarce, I am prepared to work in a more applied environment that hopefully allows me to use my knowledge about drugs to help change oppressive policies while educating people about drugs.