David Shorter


David Shorter, Professor

Director of Wiki for Indigenous Languages

Director for the Archive of Healing, Ritual, and Transformation

Personal Website: http://www.davidshorter.com

BA Religious Studies with Minor in Women's Studies, Arizona State University (1993)

MA Religious Studies, Arizona State University (1996)

PhD History of Consciousness, University of California Santa Cruz (2002)

Dr. Shorter's first book, We Will Dance Our Truth, evolves from decades of learning about indigenous lifeways, primarily among the Yoeme communities in northwest Mexico.

His research website, Vachiam Eecha/Planting the Seeds, was the first ethnographic website built in collaboration with Yoeme people from various pueblos.  Originally designed and "published" in 2003, this site was edited and updated into a second edition in 2012.  With support from the National Science Foundation, he has filmed tribal rituals pertaining to both collective and individual healing.

His Wiki for Indigenous Languages project offers a digital alternative for indigenous language revitalization by offering a language translator, wiktionary, games, and social media site to indigenous communities.   


Dr. Shorter's work explores other-than-human relations and the history of science, particularly the social sciences. At UCLA, his course on Aliens, Psychics, and Ghosts introduces students to the borderlands of science, exploring what gets to count as knowledge, what methods lead to "truth," and what are the power structures that enable some voices to count as factual and others as fictions. His course on Colonialisms and Resistance explores the relationship between 16th Century exploration, neo-liberalism, and contemporary extractive practices around the world. 


Between 2011 and 2015, he received three grants enabling him to make a documentary film, apprentice with a Yoeme healer, and start the Archive of Healing, Ritual, and Transformation.   


Among his favorite classes to teach at UCLA are “Ethnographies of/as Colonialism,” "The Art of Being Human: Living the Philosophy of Martin Buber," and "Healing: Ritual and Transformation."

Shorter also co-edits (with Dr. Randolph Lewis) a book series on Indigenous film and film-making.  Please see his personal website for more information about Professor Shorter's research. 


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