Bio

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, Philosophical Films, and am now developing one on Civil Disobedience.  I have been awarded Certificates of Excellence in Teaching by the Bok Center for both in-person and online classes.  I also teach Introduction to Philosophy for Harvard Extension School each fall (and am adding Intro. to Ethics this spring) 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 have recently joined the Tufts Department of Philosophy as a part-time Lecturer as well.

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, Beauvoir, 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 was published 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.  I have a paper forthcoming in Philosophy and Literature about the resonance between Wittgenstein, Lydia Davis, and a number of other contemporary American fiction writers, and another on care and commitment through Richard Powers' novel The Overstory in a volume on Rorty's Ethics for Routledge.  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.  Recently, I have been most actively working on essays about the unavowable politics of Christopher Nolan's Tenet and blockbuster films more generally, and on forking-path and time-loop narratives.

I have also published a fair bit of more public-facing cultural criticism, and have started spending more time writing fiction.  I was a finalist in Cutbank's 2020 flash fiction contest, have published about a half-dozen very short stories, and have a few longer ones under submission.

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.