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Stephanie Gauper, Ph.D.


Assistant Editor, Exceptional Human Experience; EHE News

My doctorate is in Renaissance literature and art from the University of Minnesota. Since 1971 I have taught literature, film, and women's studies at Western Michigan University. I have been a full professor since l983, have published more than thirty articles in various journals (to l989 all publications are under my then last name, "Demetrakopoulos"). I am the author of Listening To Our Bodies (Beacon Press, 1983) and co-author with Karla F.C. Holloway of New Dimensions of Spirituality; A Biracial and Bicultural Reading of the Novels of Toni Morrison (Greenwood Press, 1987).

Most of my writing and research is on the connection or the interface between the spiritual and various disciplines in which I have steeped myself in the visual arts such as painting and sculpture (especially in the Renaissance), film, archetypal psychology and, and gender studies.

I am a skeptic about all theory; still, I have an aesthetic response to theory and love it for its intricate designs. I have always abhorred the practice and advocacy of faith. I think mystery and questions are sacred. I hope that the spiritual dimension suggested by EHEs exists, and I have always read deeply in the area of parapsychology. I experience telepathic connections with many people very frequently, and I act as a medium for anyone who promises not to take me deadly seriously. I know too much about Active Imagination and the fertility and suggestibility of the human mind to feel sure whether the ideas and images are coming from me, from the other person, from guardian spirits, from the pleroma. I find Rhea's NDE quite enviable from that perspective. It must be good to KNOW. But I am, in short, open to anything. I love the X-Files.

I discovered Rhea and her work in l995; because she is a scientist by training, I trust her conclusions and the searchingness of her work. I have decided to quit most of my academic writing and devote my research and writing energies to her enterprise. I expect to teach for from two to ten years more and then, as I have told her, I am all hers. I have always aligned myself with frontier issues: women's studies, gender studies, Afro-American studies. I am presently writing up some of my own EHEs. I love reading the articles Exceptional Human Experience publishes, and I love tinkering with other people's prose, so I am thoroughly enjoying working for the EHE Network.

I live happily with my fourth husband, Rick. We enjoy our ten children (blended family and stepkids from previous marriage), travel in our epic-dimensions RV, art museums, theatre (especially the Goodman in Chicago), our black Manx Minnie, our crumbling 100-year-old house, the students we rent to and live with and often reparent, our dual membership in AA where Rick and I met (he has 17 years of sobriety; I have 16). In addition, I am a fiber artist of sorts. I dye, spin, knit, weave, design clothing, sew felt, quilt, applique, bead; I edit the SHUTTLE, the monthly publication of the Weaver's Guild of Kalamazoo on which I also serve as a board member. I am a charter member of the Hemlock Society, served on its local board, and am a knee-jerk liberal on all other issues. I enjoy gardening, copious reading in areas like the new research on Bonobo chimpanzees and chimpanzee politics, evolutionary psychology (David Buss especially), films, murder mysteries, Renaissance autobiographies (Queen Elizabeth, Walter Raleigh, Christopher Marlowe, etc.). I exercise ruthlessly, compulsively—step aerobics, biking, hiking, walking, weight-training. Since my cancer in 1989, I have conceived a deep superstition that constant movement will stave off remission. I am a half-hearted vegetarian, still enjoy a steak once in a while. I just turned sixty and am happier than I could ever have thought possible. Even the politics in my department have aligned themselves with my wishes: an old friend who loves harmony was recently elected chairperson. I even like my hair for the first time in my life. Since it turned white it is coarser and more manageable: it is long and fun to arrange.

Job description: Edit articles accepted for publication in Exceptional Human Experience and EHE News and copy for flyers; offer advice on editorial matters; referee papers in my areas of expertise as a scholar and as an EHEer.


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