Erik Davis’ first book, the celebrated Techgnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, was published almost twenty-five years ago. Still in print, this cult classic of media studies continues to inform conversations about technology, consciousness, and new digital expressions of religion and esotericism. In this Gnoseologies event, we will discuss Davis’ intellectual trajectory, the relevant lessons of 1990s "cyberdelia," and how techgnostic themes continue to inform our era of AI, post-truth polarization, the simulation hypothesis, and the explosion of digital occultism, from Insta-witches to TikTok “reality shifters."
Erik Davis, Ph.D, is a writer, scholar, and teacher based in San Francisco. He is the author of several books, the most recently being High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies (MIT Press/Strange Attractor Press). A contributor to numerous periodicals, Davis has spoken widely at universities, conferences, retreat centers, and festivals, and has been interviewed by CNN, the BBC, NPR, and The New York Times. He graduated from Yale University in 1988, and earned his Ph.D in religious studies at Rice University in 2015. He currently writes the Substack newsletter Burning Shore.