Office: Old Admin 209
Ph.D. Humanities, Florida State University,
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
Interdisciplinary Humanities, Film and Philosophy, Philosophy and Documentary Film
International Association of Philosophy and Literature
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Midwestern Modern Language Association
Film Theory and Criticism
Marcel Duchamp and Modernism
Derrida and Deconstruction
The Peripatetic Frame: Images of Walking in Film (Edinburgh University Press, November 2019)
Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy, co-edited with Stuart Kendall (Continuum Press, 2011)
Derridada: Duchamp as Readymade Deconstruction (Lexington Books, October 2008).
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, film-philosophy, and modernism. My book titled Derridada: Duchamp as Readymade Deconstruction was published in 2008. I co-edited (with Stuart Kendall) a collection of essays on the filmmaker Terrence Malick published by Continuum Press titled Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy. My most recent book is titled The Peripatetic Frame: Images of Walking in Film published by Edinburgh University Press in 2019. I am currently working on a book about Stoicism and film, tentatively titled Cine-Aesthetics of Indifference: Stoicism and Cinema under contract with Lexington Books.
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 camping/hiking in the Pine Ridge, Black Hills, Nebraska Sandhills, and Colorado Rockies. I share my home with a Texan named Katy (she is a Professor in the CSC Counselor Education Program), a Scottish Deerhound, and a very rambunctious Australian Shepherd. I am extremely keen on coffee, except when it is decaffeinated, and coffee culture. I love teaching and strive to greet each new fall semester by glancing back at the previous one with Mike Scott’s voice in my ear singing: “That was the river, this is the sea!”
The conviction that teaching is a dialogical activity, along with a belief in active learning, is the core of my teaching philosophy. Though I do sometimes lecture in my classes, I believe 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.