Dave Chang

Dave Chang PortraitI am humbled and honoured to be featured as a member of the month. Certainly more illustrious persons have graced the space of this page. In the earliest period of my academic life, I was nursed by the rich canon of English literature, cooed by the dramatic excursions of Shakespeare and soothed by the poetic caresses of Wordsworth. Having completed my undergraduate degree in English, I travelled to Japan, where I lived and worked for two years. In Japan I came into contact with Zen Buddhism and felt an affinity with the minimalist aesthetic forms that grace the tradition. Returning to Vancouver, I completed my teacher training at Simon Fraser University and enjoyed the great privilege of teaching in Oaxaca, Mexico – a memorable experience full of vivid memories. For the next decade, I taught secondary English at a high school in Surrey, B.C.  Contemplative practice has always supported journey, professional and personal; my Master’s thesis, completed at the University of British Columbia, explores the intersection between neuroscience, meditation and ecological consciousness. I also had the great privilege of serving as a teacher educator, guiding new teachers into the profession. Currently, I am a doctoral student in philosophy of education at SFU, where I intend to investigate ways of living outside the industrial/capitalist juggernaut that locks us into perpetual ecological harm. I am interested in contemplative practice and in fact, contemplative retreat, as both a philosophy and a method for resistance against the anthropological apparatus.

When I’m not hacking my way through the jungles of obscure philosophical debates, you will find me happily playing my guitar and busily adding callouses to my fingers. Recently, I began to integrate my love of music into my intellectual life, drawing insights from musical practice to furnish the gaps that cannot be redressed by ratiocinative discourse. I hope to inform theoretic flights with aesthetic sensibilities, arranging tonic harmonies where conceptual binaries precipitate irreconcilable tension. I admire the harmonic and melodic innovations of J.S. Bach (French Suites and Goldberg Variations) and the sublimation of human suffering in John Coltrane (A Love Supreme). Let not the tyranny of words mute the eloquence of a ringing string; let the resounding note decay into a perfect silence.

Outside of music, I draw inspiration from breathing the morning air, long walks with Miles, my 3-year-old Australian Shepherd, and a hot fragrant cup of coffee.


email: dchangh@sfu.ca

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