An interview with Mary Stuart about the recent Conference on Current Pagan Studies and participation of Shaman Smith.
Over the weekend, January 28 – 29, 2017, members of Shaman Smith had the opportunity to attend the 13th Conference on Current Pagan Studies (CCPS) at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. Rev. Devon Rachelle Setukara, and Mary Stuart represented Shaman Smith at this prestigious conference. Ms. Stuart commented, “I attended the Conference on Current Pagan Studies last weekend. It was honestly really great. We had a booth to present our DVD’s and to give out info on our upcoming productions.”
This was an informative event with several academic presentations by some of the biggest names in Pagan studies today. The theme of the conference was “Visions of the Future” for Paganism. According to Ms. Stuart, “the presenters were all on-topic and presented different views of where Paganism is going, or needs to go, and routes for getting us there.”
Shaman Smith fit right into their theme this year. In addition to their theme of “Visions of the Future,” there was a heavy ecological activism bent to many of the presentations, which was also perfect for our mission and direction.
The CCPS is an academic conference. Many of the presenters have multiple masters degrees or PhDs. And although the conference is open to non-academics — people do need to present in more of an academic style. This wasn’t a workshop or festival. We were presenting to accomplished individuals from California and other states, and this conference has been attended by individuals from several other countries. Even though it’s not a huge conference, people in the community feel that it is an important forum.
Ms. Stuart also mentioned, one of the things that was important is that “this particular event put Paganism in-line with the American Academy of Religions (AAR), and one of the keynote speakers, Amy Hale, is the incoming co-chair of the Pagan tract of AAR.” This conference was also influential in establishing the Pagan tract of the Parliament of World Religions.
Rev. Devon Rachelle Setukara, one of the founders of Shaman Smith, screened a video clip of the Pagan Path Volume I, Natural Magic — a trailer which is currently on YouTube.
Her presentation was well received by the audience. It created a lot of interest in our group, Shaman Smith — which is why we chose to do the event. In her brief presentation prior to showing the clip, she spoke about our organization and our mission. She discussed our up-and-coming projects, a documentary film on the House of Brigh and our work with Orion Foxwood. This created a lot of interest and enthusiasm in our newest works. People promised to watch for our new productions and applauded our efforts in the community. It was great to get that commendation and encouragement.