Current Research

Main Areas of Research and Interest:

  • Remix Theory
  • Philosophy and Religion in Popular Culture
  • Media and Critical Theory
  • Ironic Activism
  • Pirate Politics
  • Religious Dimensions of Alcohol Production/Consumption
  • Contemporary Buddhism
  • Apocalyptic Zombie Narratives
  • Absurdist/Existential Fiction
  • Animal and Environmental Ethics

I’m currently working on a chapter for the volume Punk and Philosophy: God Save the Queen (of the Sciences), edited by Josh Heter and Richard Greene, titled, “Close Your Eyes, Breathe, and Stick it to the Man.” Here’s a preliminary abstract:

Buddhist thought and punk subcultures probably don’t come across at first glance as complementary models for attaining a similar sort of well-being and life without suffering. But, in many ways, they both embody and advocate principles that equally demand the raising of one’s fists in an attempt to put an end to an unsatisfying, oppressive, and cyclic existence. Punk-rocking monks like Brad Warner have been writing about it since the early 2000s (starting with his popular Hardcore Zen in 2003), Noah Levine fleshed out the Buddha’s anti-authoritarian inner punk in Dharma Punx (2004) and inaugurated an entire movement predicated on it for addiction recovery, and Buddhist scholar Glenn Wallis and his dharma-influenced punk rock band Ruin were taking Philadelphia clubs through revved-up enlightening waves of decibels as early as the 1980s. Examples like these demonstrate that some of those aggressive, violent, and solely individualistic sensibilities often associated with punk ideology are often poorly-channeled manifestations of the pointed call for social reform, a shakedown of hierarchical and unjust structures, and collective revolt in pursuit of change that characterizes punk’s underpinnings. They also demonstrate the relevancy such principles and impassioned combinatory movements continue to have in cultural spaces today that aim to resolve personal and global turmoil. Drawing on those individuals listed above, along with the Buddha’s teachings and mid-twentieth-century movements (such as the Situationist International) that influenced punk’s formative period, this chapter demonstrates the congruence principles and concerns related to direct action, anti-establishment, anti-authoritarianism, the creation of radical social situations, DIY ethics, straight edge, egalitarianism, humanitarianism, non-human animal rights, and so on have between these two contexts.