Why the World Needs Tricksters with Shepherd Siegel


Indigenous cultures around the world have a trickster god or figure in their mythos. For example, the Pacific Northwest Native Americans have the Raven, a selfish, hungry, and mischievous figure who transforms the world. Stories tell how the Raven brought out the sun, moon, and stars to light the world only by cleverly deceiving others.

In today’s episode of This Anthro Life, Dr. Shepherd Siegel, activist scholar and author of “Tricking Power into Performing Acts of Love: How Tricksters Through History Have Changed the World,” discusses the Trickster archetype with host Adam Gamwell. Together, Shepherd and Adam explore attributes of the Trickster, Shepherd’s favorite Tricksters, and examples that demonstrate Trickster archetypes confronting power and tricking it into love.

Show Highlights:

- [04:05] Breaking down the title of the book
- [11:00] What love has to do with the trickster archetype
- [17:04] How Shepherd’s background came into play in writing his book
- [24:48] The different kinds of play and how they relate to the warrior and the trickster
- [29:46] The Burning Man as an example of a cultural experience premised on disruptive play
- [37:01] Why the trickster is anti-war
- [45:45] On Richard Pryor narrating George Floyd’s murder in 1979
- [56:07] Bugs Bunny as an example of a character that exemplifies the trickster archetype
- [59:07] Closing statements

Links and Resources:

- Check out the new https://bookshop.org/lists/featured-books-4acea992-474f-4852-a56e-aa01ea3d3af4 - partnership with Bookstore.org where you can support local bookstores and the podcast when you purchase books mentioned on the show.
- https://bookshop.org/a/89386/9781631957307
- https://shepherdsiegel.com/
- https://thisanthrolife.substack.com/ to This Anthro Life’s newsletter
- Connect with Adam via https://gmail.com
- Connect with Adam via the https://www.thisanthrolife.org/contact/
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