rob thomas, ph.d.
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, porn studies, affect, global cinema, San Francisco, political economy, sexuality, gender, critical race theory, and the Anthropocene. Since 1998, my pedagogy has sought to use the proliferation of the image in contemporary culture—a proliferation of abstraction that 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).