Dr Tom Tyler
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Culture
Tom graduated in Philosophy and History from Birmingham University before completing an MA and PhD in Cultural Studies at Leeds University. He has taught at Wolverhampton University, Derby University, the University College of Ripon & York St John, and at Leeds Metropolitan University. Tom joined Oxford Brookes University in 2004.
- U75102 Understanding Media (2004-2009). The mass media are of profound importance to all of us living in today's instantaneous, globally-connected, advertising-saturated societies. But what are the media? And how do they affect us? This module introduces participants to key concepts and concerns in the study of the media. Analysing a wide range of contemporary examples we explore the ways in which the media are used for communication, consumption and control: from Derren Brown to Sex in the City, from The Times to The Matrix, we utilise a range of theories and probes to help us understand the impact and significance of the media.
- U75105 Playing the Game (2005-2007). Digital games have come a long way since their emergence in the 1960s. Today's games are complex, multi-million pound creations providing sophisticated forms of interactive entertainment, education and professional training, medical therapy and healthcare, political and military simulation, and more. This module examines the unique pleasures and pains of digital gaming: we investigate how players become immersed and involved, and how they use and abuse games; we explore game design and development, the gendered nature of play, and the moral panics that have surrounded this new medium; and we consider the future potential of digital game culture.
- U75108 Understanding Culture. This module introduces students to key concepts, theories and themes within the study of culture. It enables participants to investigate and reflect critically on different aspects of culture, and to explore the impact of contemporary culture on individuals and society. It asks how to make sense of cultural artefacts, activities and events, and to reflect on the relationship between culture and representation, identity and power. In doing so it presents students with a range of theories and key concepts with which to engage with contemporary culture.
- U75131 Design for Online Communication. Designing a successful website requires specialist skills and knowledge. At its best, effective online communication combines theory, technical knowledge and creativity. This module considers issues of design, layout, usability and accessibility in the construction of contemporary websites, and examines what it takes to produce a site that is fit for purpose. Particants are introduced to the fundamental practical elements of webdesign, including HTML and CSS, and create a website of their own design using Dreamweaver and Photoshop. No prior experience of webdesign is required.
- U75184 Subject to Culture. Everyone likes to think that they are unique, with their own personality and identity, their own beliefs and ideas, their own distinct sense of self. But are we really all so different, or are we subject to a variety of cultural and social pressures that determine who we are? Using a range of objects and artefacts chosen by participants this double honours module provides students with new and challenging ways of thinking about their place within culture, and about how culture places itself within individuals. From masks to mind-viruses, from plagues to prisons, from cyborgs to subversive sexualities, we investigate how we are all subject to culture.
My research is interdisciplinary, engaging with animal studies, cultural studies, critical theory, history of ideas, philosophy, media studies, game studies, and the conceptual dimensions of other fields. To date, I have pursued research into three related domains:
- Animals. I am interested in the ambiguous roles that non-human animals have been required to play, frequently unacknowledged, in the texts of philosophy, critical theory, and elsewhere. From Buridan's ass to Schopenhauer's porcupines, from Austin's pigs to Derrida's cat, we find a mischievous menagerie of animals pressed into service, or suppressed by the notion of an amorphous 'animality'. I have discussed the instructive animals and fabulous races that inhabited the bestiaries and monstrous manuscripts of the Middle Ages. I am especially interested in apes, ancient and modern, and have written on the taxonomy of the chimpanzee, to which genus Homo sapiens truly belongs.
- Anthropocentrism. I am interested in the variety of anthropocentric arguments and assumptions that permeate, but are rarely intrinsic to, a wide range of philosophies, from Kant's critical idealism to Moore's common sense realism, from Whorf's linguistic relativism to Heidegger's hyperhumanism. My work has traced the relations and disparities between a number of these human-centred starting-points and the philosophical systems into which they are imported. My writing has been informed particularly by Nietzsche's perspectivism, Wittgenstein's pragmatism, Foucault's historicism, and by the counter-teleological approach of evolutionary theory.
- Games. I am interested in digital games, especially in their impact and import as a medium or technology, and in the distinct forms of participation and engagement that they make possible. From the immersive environments of Civilization to the persistent play of In Memoriam, from the inviting alterity of Dog's Life's 'Smellovision' to the powers and capacities of Titan Quest's virtual creatures, digital games are endlessly illustrative of the pervasive play-element of culture. I have made particular use, in this regard, of McLuhan's provocative probes into the operation and effects of media technologies.
- Tyler, Tom (2014). I See Now How Much Like Them We Are. Keynote address at SF/F Now. University of Warwick, 21-23 August 2014.
- Tyler, Tom (2014). The Spell of Anthropocentrism. Keynote address at Reading Animals. Sheffield University, 17–20 July 2014.
- Tyler, Tom (2014). The Shape of Things to Come. Invited guest lecture at Humans/Animals: A Contested Boundary. Vienna International Summer University, University of Vienna, 7–18 July 2014.
- Tyler, Tom (2014). Taking the Measure. Keynote address at Eco-logics: Ethics, Politics, Art. Nottingham Contemporary, 6 May 2014.
- Tyler, Tom (2014). The Measure of All Things. Invited presentation at The Politics of Species. University of Warwick, 18 January 2014.
- Tyler, Tom (2013). The Family of One. Keynote address at Wurzburg Summer School for Cultural and Literary Animal Studies. University of Wurzburg, Germany, 23-28 September 2013.
- Tyler, Tom (2013). The Exception and the Norm: Dimensions of Anthropocentrism. The Exceptional Animal. Oxford Brookes University, 6 September 2013.
- Tyler, Tom (2013). Who Is watching? Film, Philosophy and Amorous Animals. Invited presentation at My Night with Philosophers. Institute Francais au Royaume-Uni, London, 7 June 2013.
- Tyler, Tom (2012). Merely Human or More than Human? Our Animal Collectivities. Invited presentation at the Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics, Macquarie University, Sydney, 10 December 2012.
- Tyler, Tom (2012). Colourful Collectivities. Invited presentation at Knowing Animals Past and Present, University of Melbourne, 6 December 2012.
- Tyler, Tom (2012). Anthroponormative Interpellation and More-Than-Human Viewers. Screen|Memory|History. Victoria University, Melbourne, 2-5 December 2012.
- Tyler, Tom (2012). The Bad Faith of Being Human. Keynote address at The Experience of Animality in Culture, Science and Daily Life. University of Warsaw, Poland, 11-12 October 2012.
- Tyler, Tom (2012). We Happy Few. Minding Animals Conference 2012. Utrecht University, the Netherlands, 3-6 July 2012.
- Tyler, Tom (2012). Who Are We? Invited presentation at My Night with Philosophers. Institut Francais du Royaume-Uni, London, 8 June 2012.
- Tyler, Tom (2011). Becoming What We Are. Plenary address at Reconfiguring the Human/Animal Binary: Resisting Violence. 2nd European Conference for Critical Animal Studies, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic, 15-16 October 2011.
- Tyler, Tom (2011). Monstrous Races and Strange Cases: The Ill-Fated Hybrid. Keynote address at Animals, Animality and the Limits of the Human, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 5-7 May 2011.
- Tyler, Tom (2010). Monstrosity, Medieval and Modern. Keynote address at Hybrids, Monsters, Aliens and Other Creatures in 20th and 21st Century Writing, Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, London, 9-11 September 2010.
- Tyler, Tom (2010). The Rule of Thumb. Animals and Society Institute Summer Fellowship, Clark University, Worcester, MA, 24 May-1 July 2010.
- Tyler, Tom (2009). Wagging the Dog. Becoming Human: Ethics, Animality, Transhumanism colloquium, Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool, UK, 24 April 2009.
- Tyler, Tom (2009). How Does Your Dog Smell? Keynote address at Animals: Past, Present and Future, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 16-18 April 2009.
- Tyler, Tom (2009). A Stroll Through the World of a Digital Dog. Invited lecture at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 7 April 2009.
- Tyler, Tom (2009). Canine Visions. Invited lecture for the British Animal Studies Network series, London, UK, 21 February 2009.
- Tyler, Tom (2007). Play: A Procrustean Probe. Digital Games Research Association International Conference 2007: Situated Play, University of Tokyo, Japan, 24-28 September 2007.
- Tyler, Tom (2007). New Tricks. Animals and Society Institute Summer Fellowship, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 26 June-31 July 2007.
- Tyler, Tom (2007). Monstrous Mixture: The Archaeology of Teratology. 42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 10-13 May 2007.
- Tyler, Tom (2007). The Fox and the Fabulist: Aesop's Emblematic Animals. Invited lecture for the Human Culture, Non-human World series. Middlesex University, UK, 15 March 2007.
- Tyler, Tom (2006). Of Cipherous Swine and Misanthropic Porcupine. Close Encounters: 4th European SLSA Biannual Conference, University of Amsterdam, 13-16 June 2006.
- Tyler, Tom (2006). Deviants, Donestre and Debauchees: Here Be Monsters. Keynote address at Deviation and Delinquent Behavior: Social Control, Nizhny Novgorod State University, Russia, 21-22 April 2006.
- Tyler, Tom (2005). Innovate or Perish: Addressing Educational Crises with New Technologies. Masterclass presentation at Crisis Communication: Solving Conflicts through Discourse, Nizhny Novgorod Commercial Institute, Russia, 23-25 November 2005.
Funding, awards and fellowships
- Visiting Scholar, Animal Studies Initiative, New York University, USA, July 2015.
- Santander Research Scholarship, Santander Bank, October 2014.
- Departmental Research Fund, conference funding, Oxford Brookes University, UK, March 2013.
- Faculty Research Fund, teaching relief, Oxford Brookes University, UK, October 2011.
- Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme supervisor, Oxford Brookes University, UK, December 2010.
- Animals and Society Institute Summer Fellowship peer scholar, Clark University, USA, June 2010.
- University Research Sabbatical Scheme, Oxford Brookes University, UK, September 2009.
- Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation Award, University of Tokyo, Japan, September 2007.
- Animals and Society Institute Summer Fellowship, North Carolina State University, USA, July 2007.
- David R. Tashjian Travel Award, Western Michigan University, USA, May 2007.
- Leeds University Research Scholarship, University of Leeds, UK, 2000-03.
Editorships and memberships
- Member of the Advisory Board, Centre for Human Animal Studies, Edge Hill University, October 2014 to present.
- Member of the Academic Advisory Board, Zooscope, University of Sheffield, September 2014 to present.
- Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Animal Studies Journal, University of Wollongong, September 2014 to present.
- Associate Editor, Sloth, Animals and Society Institute, January 2014 to present.
- Member of the Vegan Society Research Advisory Committee, UK, July 2013 to present.
- Member of the International Committee, Human Rights & Animal Ethics Research Network, University of Melbourne, December 2012 to present.
- Tom Tyler's Research, abstracts, essays and reviews.
- Manuel DeLanda Annotated Bibliography, Virginia Polytechnic and State Institute.
- Understanding Media, Oxford Brookes University.
- Playing the Game, Oxford Brookes University.
- Design for Online Communication, Oxford Brookes University.
- Subject to Culture, Oxford Brookes University.
- Journal articles
- Tyler, Tom (2014). Donestre. In: Jeffrey A. Weinstock, ed., Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 170-72.
- Tyler, Tom (2013). New Tricks. Angelaki 18.1 (Mar 2013), pp. 65-82.
- Tyler, Tom (2013). ASInterview. Animals and Society Institute (Jan 2013). <https://www.animalsandsociety.org/pages/asinterview-january-2013-tom-tyler>
- Tyler, Tom (2012). CIFERAE: A Bestiary in Five Fingers. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- Tyler, Tom (2010). The Rule of Thumb. JAC 30.3-4 (2010), pp. 711-32.
- Tyler, Tom (2009). The Test of Time: McLuhan, Space and the Rise of Civilization. In: Sid Dobrin and Sean Morey, eds, Ecosee: Image, Rhetoric, and Nature. New York: SUNY, pp. 257-77.
- Tyler, Tom & Rossini, Manuela, eds (2009). Animal Encounters. Leiden: Brill.
- Tyler, Tom (2008). A Procrustean Probe. Game Studies 8.2 (Dec) <http://gamestudies.org/0802/articles/tyler>.
- Tyler, Tom (2008). Deviants, Donestre and Debauchees: Here Be Monsters. Culture, Theory & Critique 49.2 (Autumn), pp. 113-131.
- Tyler, Tom (2008). The Quiescent Ass and the Dumbstruck Wolf. Configurations 14.1-2 (Winter-Spring 2006; published Summer 2008), pp. 9-28.
- Tyler, Tom (2007). Review of The Animals Reader, by Linda Kalof and Amy Fitzgerald. Frieze 108 (Jun-Aug 2007), p. 50.
- Tyler, Tom (2007). Quia Ego Nominor Leo: Barthes, Stereotypes and Aesop's Animals. Mosaic 40:1 (March, 'The Animal, Part II'), pp. 45-59; reprinted in Neil Badmington, ed. (2009), Roland Barthes, London: Routledge, vol. 1, pp. 195-208.
- Tyler, Tom (2006). Snakes, Skins and the Sphinx: Nietzsche's Ecdysis. Journal of Visual Culture 5.3 (December), pp. 365-85.
- Adams, Carol J. with Tom Tyler (2006). An Animal Manifesto: Gender, Identity, and Vegan-Feminism in the Twenty-First Century. Parallax 38, 12.1 (Jan-Mar), pp. 120-28.
- Tyler, Tom (2006). Four Hands Good, Two Hands Bad. Parallax 38, 12.1 (Jan-Mar), pp. 69-80; reprinted in Marc Lucht and Donna Yarri, eds, Kafka's Creatures: Animals, Hybrids, and Other Fantastic Beings, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010, pp. 175-89.
- Tyler, Tom, ed. (2006). Parallax 38, 12.1 ('Animal Beings'), London: Routledge.
- Tyler, Tom (2005). Like Water in Water. Journal for Cultural Research 9.3 (July), pp. 265-279; reprinted as 'Como a agua na agua', in Maria Esther Maciel, ed. (2011), Pensar/Escrever O Animal: Ensaios de Zoopoetica e Biopolitica, Florianopolis: EDUSC, pp. 55-73.
- Tyler, Tom (2003). If Horses Had Hands.... Society & Animals 11.3, pp. 267-281; reprinted in Tom Tyler and Manuela Rossini, eds, Animal Encounters, Leiden: Brill, 2009, pp. 13-26.