Elmer G. Beamer-Hubert H. Schneider Professor in Ethics, Associate Professor
Clark Hall 310
My family comes from Ohio–the Bendiks as immigrants from Vlachovo, Slovakia to southern Ohio mining country (Belle Valley) and then later as residents of Elyria; the Keymers from Oberlin, Lakewood and eventually Olmsted Falls. I went to public school in New Hartford, New York and in Rouen, France as an exchange student at the Lycée Corneille, then attended Yale College and University of Chicago. While I was in Chicago, I worked on a research team at the Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development, studying a Head Start version of the Reggio Emilia pre-school approach. It profoundly affected my view of learning and of schooling.
After school, I trekked around — living in Colorado, the United Arab Emirates (where I helped accredit a department of international studies), and Central New York near where I grew up. Then I moved to Cleveland. During those travels between my schooling and rejoining Cleveland, I studied different ways of educating: at Colorado College, a liberal arts college where students take one course at a time, American University of Sharjah, a global citizenship focused institution, and LeMoyne College, a Jesuit institution with a mission to display care for the whole person while they find their vocation in life.
I approach philosophy primarily as a practice between people and across time which results appear in lives, not as bodies of knowledge. In so far as I produce research in accordance with the modern concept of a research university, I have mainly explored problems in environmental morality and in environmental politics, but also in socially engaged art, democratic protest, democratic education, human rights, citizenship, moral relationships, colonialism, and war. Two current books articulate the moral and historical conditions of anthroponomy (collective self-governance) in an era of planetary environmental change, and a third explores the conditions of democratic life and moral reasoning in the operation of wonder.