Chadron State College
Chadron State College

Employee Profile


Thomas D. Tucker

Justice Studies, Social Sciences, & English - English

Contact Information

Phone: 308-432-6309
Office: Old Admin 209


Ph.D. Humanities, Florida State University, 2001
M.A. Interdisciplinary Humanities, University of West Florida, 1986
B.A. Interdisciplinary Humanities, University of West Florida, 1984
B.A. Film, University of West Florida, 1983

Teaching Areas

The Humanistic Tradition, Introduction to Film, Comparative Religion, Exploration in the Humanities

Professional Activities and Awards

International Association of Philosophy and Literature
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Midwestern Modern Language Association
Editorial Review Board, Journal of Literature, Language and Linguistics (Scientific Journals International)

Research Interests and Published Works

Film Theory and Criticism
Philosophy of Film
Philosophical Aesthetics
Marcel Duchamp and Modernism
Derrida and Deconstruction
Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy (Continuum Press, 2011)
Derridada: Duchamp as Readymade Deconstruction (Lexington Books, October 2008). From the publisher's website:

"This remarkable book is the first attempt to bring into dialogue two of the twentieth century's defining intellectual icons: the artist Marcel Duchamp and the philosopher Jacques Derrida. It not only shows how much these two very different thinkers had in common but manages to shed new light on their respective artistic and philosophical itineraries. In Derridada, Thomas Deane Tucker has constructed a wonderfully baroque textual machine that is worthy of Duchamp and Derrida themselves and he sends us back to their works with a fresh and engaged
eye."-Arthur Bradley, Lancaster University

"Tucker's chiasmatic entwining of Derrida and Duchamp is a precise but accessible, cogent but playful double session: a marvelous and unique explication and demonstration of the principle strategies of two of the twentieth century's most influential oeuvres. An antidote to the myriad arid applications of Derrida's thought, this book is a pleasure to read both for its style and for its substance."-Stuart Kendall, Eastern Kentucky University


I am a Professor of Humanities here at Chadron State College where I have been on the faculty since 1998. I earned my Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Florida State University in Tallahassee. My research and teaching interests are in continental philosophy, philosophical aesthetics, philosophy of film, and modernism. My book titled Derridada: Duchamp as Readymade Deconstruction was published in 2008. My most recent publication is a co-edited (with Stuart Kendall) collection of essays on the filmmaker Terrence Malick published by Continuum Press titled Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy. I am currently writing a book about images of walking in film under contract with University of Edinburgh Press. At various times in my life before teaching at CSC I have lived in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Orlando, and New York City, and have worked as a waiter, an audio guide at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, film production assistant, photo stylist, documentary film researcher, surfing instructor, and book editor. When not teaching, my favorite activity is travel. When at home my interests include painting (at which I have barely any talent), home brewing very potent Belgian beers, writing poetry, and hiking in the Pine Ridge and Black Hills. I share my home with a Texan named Katy (she is an Associate Professor in the Counseling Department), a cat (who really now lives on the porch next door where he lords over the other neighborhood felines), a German Shepherd, a Scottish Deerhound, and an Australian Shepherd. I am extremely keen on coffee, except when it is decaffeinated, and coffee culture. I love living in Nebraska, but I will always yearn for the sea.

Teaching Philosophy

The conviction that teaching is a dialogical activity, along with a belief in active learning, is the core of my teaching philosophy. I rarely lecture in my classes. I believe rather in a student-learning approach to teaching, actively engaging students by presenting ideas and concepts in ways that foster discussion and critical thinking. Creative teaching in the humanities often means traversing traditional disciplinary boundaries and encouraging students to make interdisciplinary connections between ideas and to develop and present their own arguments about the subject matter. The process of teaching must therefore always remain open ended and flexible, allowing even the most disparate ideas room to be explored and articulated by both teacher and student.

To be an effective teacher, one has to be passionate and knowledgeable about the subject, but must also possess the ability to present the subject in ways that the student can relate to and understand. My role as a teacher in the humanities is to introduce ideas, theories, and cultural artifacts in ways in which students will grasp their importance as part of a shared cultural legacy and enable them to relate this understanding to their own life experience. One strategy I use to accomplish this is to have students actively participate in recreating the evolution of an idea or artifact.

Finally, I believe that teaching is a type of performance, perhaps even performance art. Humor is an important tool in the classroom. A teacher who can promote learning as a form of active, serious thinking while being able to laugh and encourage laughter is a more caring and therefore more effective teacher.