Dean of the Faculty

Reed College Faculty Profiles

Benjamin Lazier

Professor of History and Humanities
History Department
Division of History and Social Sciences

I tend to be attracted to a kind of thinking that marries philosophical reflection to historical inquiry, with specific interests in technology, the environment, globalisms, psychoanalysis, religious thought, political thought, political economy, animality, the emotions, and movements for social action. I received my Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, taught for three years at the University of Chicago, and have been at Reed since 2005. As a scholar and writer, I have done some work in the history of religion, and my book, God Interrupted (Princeton, 2008), received awards from the American Academy of Religion and the Templeton Foundation. I've also co-edited a volume in the study of emotion called Fear: Across the Disciplines (Pittsburgh, 2012). I've since embarked on some new research projects, principally a history of the Whole Earth. A sample of that project, a capsule history of philosophical reactions to the first images of the Earth from space, appeared as an article ("Earthrise; or, the Globalization of the World Picture") in the American Historical Review. This year I am teaching a course on technology and social thought, on the Whole Earth, and a sequence of classes in modern Humanities from the Enlightenment era to the present. In the near future I hope to offer courses on the psychoanalytic tradition, on the history of emotions, and on the concept of the anthropocene era.

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