hello there

I’m Adam. I am a writer. I study and teach philosophy. I like to think about art and experience.

When I'm not thinking (or playing jazz piano), I'm taking pictures, designing websites and graphics , coding apps, and having fun with other creative-technical things that utilize technology and collaboration to push the boundaries of human perception.

Current Thoughts at a Glance

I adventure through the world of perception, by means of phenomenology and art. How can viewing a piece of art, listening to some music, or tasting a meal be as creative as producing them?

The main thinkers I engage are Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Edmund Husserl, Josef Albers, Gaston Bachelard, Marcel Proust, Georg Gadamer, and John Dewey.

As part of my research, I look at Impressionism & Abstract Expressionism, listen to jazz and contemporary music, watch dancers, talk to culinary connoisseurs, and seek out any other experts in creatings things that engage the senses. I think that by being creative in our reception of works, we can become reoriented toward the world in a more rich and generative way.

Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute, Turner, 1835 painting at top: Joan Mitchell, Hours, 1989


Doctoral Candidate in Philosophy at Stony Brook University •  Philosophy Bachelor of the Arts, with honors Summa Cum Laude & Theatre, Film, TV Production  Bachelor of the Arts, with honors Summa Cum Laude & Outstanding Graduate & Minor in Leadership Studies, University Honors & Leadership Program @ University of Colorado Denver


Online Teaching Certified • SAFe Scrum Master • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stony Brook University • Philosophy and Art at Stony Brook University, with a concentration in Music & Musicology (with over five additional courses in Art History, Aesthetics, and Curation) • Member of Stony Brook’s Center for the Studies of Inequalities

Skills & Experience

Photo & Video, including professional headshots and department events • Graphic Design, Web Design, and Layout • Worked in Editing for over 5 years in Academia, Journalism, and Book Publishing • Certified in Adobe Creative Suite & Microsoft Office


Areas of Specialty: Phenomenology (esp. Merleau-Ponty), Aesthetics • Areas of Competence Philosophies of Literature & Music, Feminism, Disability Studies, Early Modern Philosophy

Conference Highlights

(See my CV, Academia.edu page, or LinkedIn profile for a more comprehensive list.)
Curriculum Vitae

Disability & Museums

Disability, Justice, and Human Rights Workshop, Stony Brook University, Spring 2019

Watch the presentation

Ground Without Figure: A Phenomenology of Peripheral Sightedness

Forty-Second Annual Merleau-Ponty Circle, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Fall 2018

Forthcoming as a chapter in an edited collection with SUNY Press

What Color is this Sound?: Merleau-Ponty, Synesthesia, and Creative Perception

Paper Presentation and Art Exhibition, Ninth Annual Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition, University of San Francisco, Fall 2017

Read the paper here
Watch the video of my color map here

Landscapes of the Southwest: Bachelard, Proust, and Merleau-Ponty

Tenth Annual Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition, Yosemite National Park, Fall 2018

Read the paper here

Phenomenology for me

Phenomenology, in my own work, is first and foremost a practice. An important part of my work is fine-tuning my own abilities for description (whether it be of a painting, a landscape, a meal, or a song, in traditional phenomenological form or other experimental practices, such as “responsive poetry”). I then use these descriptions to develop insights regarding aesthetic experience, considering how to better curate artworks in order to allow the spectator to be creative their reception (just as I am when I engage my world through description).

  Pictured: Homage to the Square: Soft Spoken, Josef Albers, 1969
teaching is enriching students’ worlds through dialogue

Critical Pedagogy & Interdisciplinarity

As someone interested in studying pedagogy and thinking deeply about the questions of what it means to learn well, I attempt to make my classrooms as dialogical as possible. Rather than merely creating a unidirectional information dump, I seek to cultivate an environment where mutual conversations can happen, which extend beyond the classroom.

An example of some of the exciting, interdisciplinary courses I have taught is “Universal Design, Disability Studies and Phenomenology,” where students studied phenomenologies of space and the politics of disability to then develop their own Universal Design proposals to improve their campus community. Pictured: Bords d’une rivière (Riverbanks), Cézanne, 1904-05

Some Publications

Just a short collection of some recent publications. (See my Academia.edu page, LinkedIn profile, or my CV for a more complete list, including class presentations, upcoming stuff, and unpublished work.)

Curriculum Vitae

If You Have to Explain It, It Isn’t Funny: Laughing Immediately with Merleau-Ponty

The Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, January 2019

Review of Don Beith’s ‘The Birth of Sense’

Continental Philosophy Review, Fall 2018

A review of Don Beith’s recent book, all about generative passivity in Merleau-Ponty’s work.


Review of David Morris’ ‘Merleau-Ponty’s Developmental Ontology’

Journal for the Pacific Association of the Continental Tradition, May 2019

A review of David Morris’ recent monograph, all about Merleau-Ponty and the development of sense in our world.

Freedom Through Generality: The Body’s Atmosphere in the ‘Phenomenology of Perception’

Sofia Philosophical Review, Fall 2018

This paper explores how ‘generality’ both enables and restricts freedom for Merleau-Ponty within the ‘Phenomenology of Perception.’

Translation of “A Conversation between Evelyne Grossman & Jacob Rogozinski: Deleuze, reader of Artaud – Artaud, reader of Deleuze”

Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, 2019

A Catalog of Proust: Light, Air, Style, World, and Geography

Self-published online, open access

This is a collection of quotations on various themes and metaphors which I have tracked throughout À la recherche du temps perdu. The list is by no means exhaustive, and is still ongoing.

Service & Awards

Here are some recent, notable service positions, academia-related gigs, and awards. See my CV for a more complete list.

Curriculum Vitae

Working with director Anne O’Byrne, I helped to coordinate the 44th annual Collegium in Città di Castello, Italy, from July 8–26, 2019.

Collegium Phaenomenologicum
Graduate Assistant
More info on Collegium

Given by Stony Brook upon my acceptance to the program for being an “exceptionally qualified incoming doctoral student.”

Graduate Council Fellowship
Stony brook

Granted to aid in my help for Collegium Phaenomenologicum. The committee states that “awards are determined based on the quality  and impact of the applicant’s work, both within their field and academia.

Distinguished Travel Award
Stony brook graduate student organization

As President of the PGS, I helped to create more opportunities for community building and mutual involvement in the philosophy department at Stony Brook.

President & Vice President
Philosophy graduate society, stony brook

As Assistant for the Arendt Circle, I organized submissions, designed posters, and took care of other administrative and creative tasks.

Thirteenth Annual Arendt Circle
Graduate assistant

I have assisted five different professors at Stony Brook University, from Philosophy, Italian Studies, and Art History, helping with creative and administrative tasks, including Manuscript Editing, Image Permissions, Journal Submission Review, and more.

Graduate Assistant
for several professors at stony brook
It’s all about what you know

Some graduate work

To get an idea of what sort of thinking I’m trained in, here is a selection of some of my completed graduate coursework.

The Continental Body with Dr. Edward S.  Casey
Aesthetics: Wit & Humor, with Dr. Lydia Goehr at Columbia University

Abstract Expressionism: Materials & Meaning, with Dr. Jim Coddington at NYU’s Institute for Fine Arts (included over ten exclusive museum tours)

Phenomenology & Color, with Dr. Megan Craig

Interdisciplinary Research Design in Women’s/Gender/Sexuality Studies, with Dr. Nancy Hiemstra

Pictured: Jackson Pollock’s “Number 1, 1949”

Paul Cézanne, with Dr. Nina Kallmyer at NYU’s Institute for Fine Arts (included two in-depth museum tours)
Music & Phenomenology, with Dr. Judy Lochhead

Proust, with Dr. Mary Rawlinson

Dwelling, Shelter, Art, with Dr. Megan Craig

Deleuze, with Dr. Edward S. Casey

Freedom & Agency in Descartes & Spinoza, with Dr. Andrew Platt

Several courses and certificates on pedagogy, critical pedagogy, and curriculum design.

Hobbies & Interests

Though a philosopher’s work is never done, here are some other ways that I have fun

The blessing (and the curse) of phenomenology & aesthetics is that anything that the world offers up can be food for thought. But when I’m not explicitly reading or writing or studying a work/exhibit, here are some other things that I enjoy.

See my feature musical film here

Jazz Piano & Improvization

I have been playing jazz piano for over 10 years (and piano for my whole life). Of course, the paradox of habit and creativity that comes from improvization features in my research. But, also, I just really love it. I also get out to see live music as often as I can.

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Travel & Travel Photography

I love to travel and see new places, and one of my favorite parts of exploration is feeling how a scene calls to me, and finding that perfect spot to place the camera. Some recent excursions include Big Sur, Yosemite, Tuscany, Copenhagen, and driving through the Southern USA.

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Musical Theatre Writing & Filmmaking

I am an avid musical theatre and opera fan, and if I wasn’t doing philosophy, I’d want to be on Broadway. I have taken seminars on storycraft, songwriting, set design/stagecraft, and plotting, and produced a feature-length musical film, satirical of hipster culture (link to the left).

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Board Games

I love to play board games. Some of my current favorites include Backgammon, Perudo, Hanabi, 500 Rummy, Mahjong, Sherlock Holmes, and Dominoes. If you have a recommendation, send it my way!

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