From Noisebridge
Jump to: navigation, search

Ayahuasca Symposium: Lecture & Book Release

Event Information

  • 3/4/2012 @ 2:00pm
  • Lecture at 2pm followed by group discussion

Over the last several years, ayahuasca has become increasingly popular around the world. This exclusive free event is hosted by the Psychedelic Society of San Francisco out of Noisebridge. The speaker, Beatriz Caiuby Labate, is a renowned author, speaker, and researcher. We are lucky to have such an accomplished and amazing international researcher coming out to speak to our group! The event is free and refreshments will be served. Donations of any size are gladly accepted to help cover Bia's international travel expenses.


The event starts at 2pm on Sunday, March 4th, and will last about 2-hours.

  • Refreshments will be served, followed by introductions
  • Bia will present her lecture, Ayahuasca in a Global Context: Controversies, Public Debate, and Regulation
  • Questions, socializing, and book signing

Lecture: Ayahuasca in a Global Context: Controversies, Public Debate, and Regulation

This presentation will address the internationalization of ayahuasca, a psychoactive substance made generally from the plants Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridis. Ayahuasca has traditionally been used in indigenous, mestizo shamanic, and religious rituals in South America. In the last 20 years, its use has spread beyond the Amazon to the world, and has been accompanied by great controversy. This presentation will analyze the public debate around the expansion of the use of this substance. It will contemplate the discussions in media and society around legalization, religious freedom, cultural diversity, and health risks. This analysis makes use of ethnographic fieldwork in the main new contexts of use of this substance, such as ayahuasca tourism in Peru, and the expansion of the Brazilian ayahuasca religions (Santo Daime and UDV) around the world.

Book Release: The Internationalization of Ayahuasca

We're proud to be officially releasing The Internationalization of Ayahuasca, By Beatriz Caiuby Labate & Henrik Jungaberle (Eds.). This exclusive event will allow members an early chance to purchase this text, as well as a book signing.

Summary: The Internationalization of Ayahuasca is composed of 27 articles (almost 500 pages) and is divided in three parts: “Ayahuasca in South America and the world”, “About medi-cal, psychological and pharmacological Issues: is the use of ayahuasca safe?” and “The ex-pansion of the use of Ayahuasca and the establishment of a global debate on ethics and legalization”. The book brings together the work of scholars from different countries and academic disciplines to offer a comprehensive view of the globalization of this Amazonian brew. It presents a rich array of reflections on the complex implications of this expansion, ranging from health, spiritual and human rights impacts on individuals, to legal and policy impacts on governments. As ayahuasca drinking becomes an increasingly established practice beyond the Amazon in the early 21st century, Labate and Jungaberle have put together a collection that is an unprecedented contribution to a growing field of research. It is a must-read for people interested in the present and future of ayahuasca, as well as in spirituality, ethnobotany, social science theory, contemporary religious and ritual studies, therapeutic potentials of psychedelics, and international drug policy. (Kenneth W. Tupper, Ph.D.)


Beatriz Caiuby Labate has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of psychoactive substances, drug policies, shamanism, ritual, and religion. Since 2009, she has been a Research Associate at the Institute of Medical Psychology, Heidelberg University. She is also researcher with the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP), and editor of its site ( She is author, co-author, and co-editor of eight books, two with English translations, and one journal special edition. Her book, “A Reinvenção do Uso da Ayahuasca nos Centros Urbanos” (“The Reinvention of Ayahuasca Use in Urban Centers,” Mercado de Letras, 2004), was derived from her Master's thesis, which received the prize for Best Master’s Thesis in Social Sciences from the National Association for Graduate Studies in Social Science (ANPOCS) in 2001. For more information, see: