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  • Writer's pictureChristine Skolnik

Archives of the Impossible


"Jeff Kripal here. We are going to host a second international conference around our Archives of the Impossible at Rice University, this time explicitly on how to mainstream these questions and materials in the larger academy and our public cultures. The event is entitled "Archives of the Impossible II: Transnationalism, Transdisciplinarity, Transcendence.”

The conference is scheduled for May 11-13 at Rice University in Houston, in the same beautiful venue in which we held the first one, Hudspeth Auditorium in the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. This is a two-and-a-half day event, from Thursday afternoon, May 11, to Saturday evening, May 13. It will feature three pre-conference webinars, like last year, on April 19, April 26and May 3. At the conference itself, six plenary speakers from a broad array of areas, two thematic panels (both under conversation and to be determined), and about 16 “flash talks” of 25 minutes each. So there are, roughly, 29 major thinkers and activists speaking here.

We have just redesigned our website. Please visit it and register for our upcoming events. There are two ways to register for the conference in May: as a physical attendee and as a digital registrant. We will be writing later about possible hotel venues for those who wish to come in person. We are working out the details over the school year, as we did last year. So please stay tuned!

I should add that the response to the last event was simply overwhelming. We had over 1,700 people register, about 200 individuals show up in person (during COVID, no less), and, at the moment, over 230,000 views have been noted on YouTube for our speakers. You might have also seen the latest on one of our donors, Jacques Vallée, in this piece in the New York Times.

Things are a’changing. We are making headway here. We want to make more headway. We want this thing to “tip” or, as I say, “flip.” It’s okay if some us flop, too, by the way. That’s part of the flip, and it’s funny.


Jeffrey J. Kripal

Associate Dean of Faculty and Graduate Studies, School of Humanities

J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought, Rice University"

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