Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, I now live in Los Angeles where I work at CSU Northridge. Since 2007, my research has focused on contemporary Maya spirituality in Guatemala. Increasingly, I am turning my attention to the forms of Catholicism and evangelical Christianity that flourish in Central America. From 2011-2014, I worked in Denmark studying intersubjectivity, joint action, distributed cognition, cognitive ecology, epistemic actions, and active externalism.
During my time in Denmark, I was a researcher in the Aarhus Node of the TESIS network. While the aim of the entire network was to make progress "Towards an Embodied Science of Intersubjectivity," our particular task was to investigate the science of human interaction with an emphasis on the role of objects in cognitive ecosystems.
Humans and tools have co-evolved, each reciprocally shaping and being shaped by the other. While this may sound abstract, it is the essence of our everyday experience. Just looking around our contemporary world, it is easy to see that smartphones, computers, and the internet are more than "tools at our disposal," they are, in fact, basic technologies for our involvement with each other and our shared world. It's what you're doing now, for example.
In the photo you see on the left, I am visiting the archaeological site of Chi' Ya' or Chuitinamit, pre-colonial capital of the Tz'utujil Maya. As some local friends and I meandered around the site, we came across endless potsherds and broken obsidian blades, churned up by centuries of tilling between the rows of maize that have been opportunistically planted among the ruins of the elites' former citadel. Just a few centuries before, this place represented the acme of stone age technology, but now electromagnetic waves scour the site, carrying bits of digital information in the form of telephone calls and internet queries. Wandering around the place, I was reminded how our tools constantly shape and define us, alternately developing our abilities and taking them away again, permitting us to exercise a plasticity that, more than anything, expresses our human natures.