Since 2015, I have been a Preceptor with the Harvard College Writing Program, where I teach philosophy-based writing classes for first-year students. I've taught versions on The Narrative Self, Existentialism, and now Philosophical Films, for which I was awarded a certificate of excellence in teaching. I also teach Introduction to Philosophy for Harvard Extension School each fall to a wide variety of students, including working adults, full-time degree candidates, home-schooled high schoolers, military personnel, clergy, community college instructors, MBAs, and retirees.
I studied philosophy and English at Williams College and received my Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston University in 2014, working at the Harvard Book Store in between. After my doctorate, I remained at BU for a year as a Lecturer, teaching introductory classes in ethics and the history of philosophy, as well as 300-level seminars on ancient philosophy. I've also held fellowships at the University of Cambridge and the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna, studied English and education for a year in Bath, England, and spent two summers at the German Language School at Middlebury College.
My research is centered on questions of how narrative is involved in how we understand our lives and constitute ourselves as full selves and persons. Growing out of my dissertation, I am developing an interpretation of Heidegger's Being and Time as offering a novel theory of how we interpret the meaning of our lives--in the same way that we interpret a story, not when we've finished, but rather when we're still in the middle of it. I draw on sources in continental philosophy (Ricoeur, Sartre, Arendt), more recent anglophone philosophy (Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, Marya Schechtman), and literary theory, as well as interpretations of particular fictions and films. Some of this work recently appeared in the European Journal of Philosophy. I have also published on Walter De Maria's land art installation The Lightning Field, the problem of nihilism in architectural phenomenology, on Sartre's novel Nausea, and on Paul de Man's deconstructionist approach to Rousseau's Confessions. My interests are broad and interdisciplinary, ranging across philosophy of literature and art, 19th- and 20th-century European philosophy, ethics, the history of philosophy, literary theory, and 20th- and 21st-century fiction. Right now, I'm most actively working on papers about the resonance between Wittgenstein and a number of contemporary American fiction writers (forthcoming in Philosophy and Literature); on care, irony, and commitment through Richard Powers' novel The Overstory (under review); and on Aristotle's argument that our possession of logos proves that we are naturally political.
I also publish an occasional bit of fiction and popular criticism.
In my free time, I read an enormous number of novels, watch almost as many films, love to go hiking whenever I can, and visit modern art museums wherever I travel. I'm originally from St. Louis but have lived in Massachusetts, and specifically Cambridge, for longer than anywhere else. If the strength of others' reactions is any guide, the most notable thing about me is my continuing use of a flip phone.