Professional

I am the author of User's Guide to Pornography (forthcoming, Zer0 Books), and a Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University.

My courses are broadly concerned with the relation between contemporary culture and the history of Western philosophy, with particular emphasis on modernism/modernity, theories of the image, pornography, affect, global cinema, San Francisco, political economy, and the Anthropocene. Since 1998, my pedagogy has sought to use the proliferation of the image in contemporary culture—which is a proliferation of abstraction and which is now everywhere—as a way of teaching the language of philosophical abstraction. 

My work as a theorist makes use of diverse figures: Deleuze, Guattari, Foucault, Spinoza, Kafka, Walser, Nietzsche, Negri, Debord, and Giorgio Agamben, with whom I studied in the seminars on The Time That Is Left (Il tempo che resta).

I hold a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Program in Philosophy, Literature, and the Theory of Criticism at the State University of New York (SUNY), Binghamton (2005), M.A. in Philosophy from SUNY, Binghamton (2004), M.A. in Humanities from San Francisco State University (2000), B.A. in Liberal Arts from Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) (1997).


Personal

I live in the Outer Sunset / Ocean Beach neighborhood in San Francisco, ride, repair and rebuild vintage mopeds and motorcycles, listen to and repair 8-track tapes, drive and repair vintage vans, sing karaoke, I used to skateboard, I'm always threatening to learn to surf, think about taking trips/vacations (usually involving moped rallies with my friends), write, and occasionally go to films and shows. Most of my life is devoted to teaching, which I love, though it leaves me with little time for my own work. Like a lot of people, I just try to have the best life that I can. I love things that are broken, ruined, decaying, lost, useless, forgotten, excluded and ignored.

Expired Polaroid Photo: Todd Duane Miller (2015)
All Other Photos by Rob Thomas