• Dawn Prince-Hughes
Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)


Every anthropologist dreams of being there when a watershed moment of human history occurs. We have, though, become somewhat jaded as we find ourselves seeing so little change as we leave the universities as students and become entrenched in our jobs. Between the politics of academia and the danger of ridicule, we often learn to focus on our days, our next papers, or the next hoop we must jump through. We become immune to miracles, and certainly do not expect them. What I witnessed during our conference was the kind of miraculous first that will someday be seen as being as important as any technological breakthrough. The coming together of so many brilliant minds, ostensibly to discuss the phenomenon of autism, became much more than that. In my chapter, I explore the loss of the miraculous in academia, the pressures that keep intelligent and gifted people within it silent, and how coming together in a supportive, interdisciplinary setting can bring tremendous creative energy to bear not just on individual problems, but on the webs of connections that see those problems as gifts and parts of a whole that includes us all.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawn Prince-Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.CarbondaleUSA

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