Graham St John


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1997 …2023

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Last updated 18th April 2024


Graham St John, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist specialising in transformational events, movements, and figures. Among his career highlights is research and publication in the field of electronic music and dance culture. Graham is founding Executive Editor of Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture. He has held postdoctoral fellowships in Australia, the US, Canada, Switzerland, and the UK, and is currently a Marie Curie Senior Research Fellow in the Dept of Music and Design Arts at the University of Huddersfield.   

Among Graham’s ten books are Technomad: Global Raving Countercultures (Equinox 2009), Global Tribe: Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance (Equinox 2012), Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT (North Atlantic Books 2015), and the forthcoming intellectual biography Terence McKenna: The Strange Attractor (MIT Press, 2024). 

He has edited several anthologies, including FreeNRG: Notes from the Edge of the Dancefloor (Commonground, 2001), Rave Culture and Religion (Routledge 2004), Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance (Berghan 2009), The Local Scenes and Global Cultures of Psytrance (Routledge 2010), Weekend Societies: Electronic Dance Music Festivals and Event Cultures (Bloomsbury 2017), and the forthcoming Altered Statesman: A Terence McKenna Anthology (2025). 

Among Graham’s recent research output are two coedited journal issues: at Dancecult on “Psychedelica and Electronica” (co-edited with Trace Reddell Nov, 2023), and at the Journal of Festive Studies on Transformational Festivals, Movements and Cultures (co-edited with Sarah Pike, Nov 2023). The latter issue features a substantial introduction to the field of “Transfestivity.” He has published widely on the Burning Man movement and culture. He is currently working on a biographical project on Terence McKenna, with output exemplified by his recent article in Dancecult: “The Voice of the Apocalypse: Terence McKenna as Raving Medium.” At the same time, he works on a cultural history of the mirrorball, which is, at the same time, a chronicle of the vibe. 

His website is:

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Psytrance
  • Dance
  • Trance
  • Electronic Dance Music


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