I am currently a lecturer in SLE (Structured Liberal Education) at Stanford, a first year program where students develop their critical reading and writing skills by engaging with primary texts. There I have the privilege of being a section leader to a group of 15 students whose provocative questions and diverse experiences provoke as many new ideas in me as I hope I do in them.
Prior to coming to Stanford, I was a research fellow at the Forschungsinstitut für Philosophie Hannover, and received my Ph.D from the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. My research is situated in the field of “Social Aesthetics” where I explore the relationship between “aesthetic” and “everyday” experience and examine the role aesthetic categories and techniques in the construction of theory, collective activity, and the development of the “self.”
While in Hannover, I also began work in the philosophy of race and focused my work on pop culture on the Philosophy of Hip-Hop. Here, I’m interested in what Hip-Hop can tell us about the experience of African-Americans beyond impoverishment and the politics of race. At a time when the phrase that “Black Lives Matter” invokes heated debate, it seems essential to investigate how race is experienced by people radicalized as black and non-black to understand our continued failure to find common ground.
I’m also an avid sports fan, particularly American football, soccer, and rugby, and am fascinated by the relationship between sport, culture, and values. Along with my interest in rap music, I can be found listening to Jazz and 90’s rock. Radiohead continues to be my preferred writing music.
Made by AK5A. © 2014 Michael L. Thomas.