Hi, I’m Daniel. Welcome to my website.
I certainly can’t say it all. It’s all still coming to me. But since you’ve made it here you deserve an account of my crazy journey to the world of thought and why I do the work I do.
I was born outside Portland, Oregon and grew up there and elsewhere along the west coast. In terms of labor, I had a lot of it from a pretty early age. My father was and remains an insane worker. Starting in my early teens, I worked different jobs from being a hod carrier (assistant to a bricklayer), a construction laborer, to a number of sales and other odd jobs. In many ways, I was raised by a single mother. Sure, there were divorces and chaos and all the sorts of things that come with them.
As you might imagine, it was in college that I found a deep passion for reading and knowledge. I studied at a small town in Southern Oregon. It was beautiful and majestic. It was through reading poetry that the world of thought opened up for me. Initially, it was the Beat poets who were immensely impressive to me, yet while I saw them as very learned and erudite, there were clearly holes in their theories and even in their own reading. These shortcomings led me to go far beyond the bibliography of thought they opened for me. I was drawn into a new orbit of desire and I began to devour philosophical texts.
After college I ended up becoming a part of a wider community focused on addressing conflict resolution and inter-religious dialogue. In order to enter the world of professional life from my blue collar roots my partner and I lived in the patronage of a wealthy businessman in Washington, DC who was interested in interfaith issues. Without this Algeristic support I would probably be back in Portland working construction labor.
Simultaneous to my entry into this world I began to form class consciousness in ways that I had never done so before. The random, chance events of my life all seemed to rely on receiving the financial support from paternalistic sources which had no reason to support me. We live in a society where if you are a working class person who does not have parents with money, there’s little chance you can make an interesting career. I began to associate and fraternize with wealthy people who did not share in this same struggle and who actually pretended it did not exist, or who looked upon it as a natural par for the course.
It was at this point that I began to really turn to socialism as a source for thinking critically about class politics in my life and in the wider society. So by the same time that the liberal messianic moment of Obama’s hope and change began to come about, I began to turn against liberalism.
During this time I also developed greater love for my work in interfaith bridge building and I began to see it as a calling. Looking back on this time, I consider my entry into this world as a spiritual event although it did not entail a religious conversion other than bringing me towards the Christianity of my youth in a way that is fuller and more critical.
I have sought to weave my worlds together, the world of critical thought and philosophy with interfaith conflict resolution–these are the two intersecting paths of my life. I teach philosophy at George Washington University as Professorial Lecturer and I am a professor (adjunct) at Marymount University where I teach social and political thought, ethics and introduction to philosophy. I also teach seminars to graduate students and I offer seminars for inmates at the DC jail.
I teach out of love for the potential to reach students. My goal is to inspire students to see the world differently and I love to share frameworks for theorizing the world and society. I am also interested in teaching and learning alternatives to the contemporary neoliberal university. From 2012 – 2015, I served as Professor of Critical Theory and Dean of Student Affairs at the Global Center for Advanced Studies.
I am the Director of Programs and a Producer at Unity Productions Foundation, a media and educational organization based in Washington, DC that makes documentary films and promotes nationwide education about Islam and Muslim culture.
I have also been working on an ongoing documentary film series called Insurrections that aims to understand the uprisings and movements of our time, specifically the uprisings that swept the globe from 2010 to roughly 2014 starting in Tottenham, to Cairo, to Greece, to Oakland, New York and elsewhere. What is the meaning of these events and what is the future of radical emancipatory political movements? This film series interviews important philosophers and theorists to shed light on this topic.
I received my Ph.D. from the European Graduate School, division of Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought under the supervision of one of the most important living philosophers, Alain Badiou. I also received a Masters of Arts in philosophy and ethics from American University in Washington, DC where I wrote my thesis on Žižek’s critique of liberalism.
This work won first place in 2012 and 2014 at the Žižek Studies conference. I then went on to study directly with Žižek and Badiou at the EGS in order to develop my ideas. My Ph.D. studies set me on a lifelong path of research and writing in philosophy.
I am also affiliated as a Scholar with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington, D.C. where I write and present on Islamophobia, Muslims in the west and interfaith dialogue.
My C.V. can be found here.
All content on this site ©Daniel Tutt, 2016.