About

I mostly write history titles with an interdisciplinary bent; my most widely known book, World History 101, was published in 2017 by Adams Media/Simon & Schuster. My past work includes The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to the BibleConversations with Carl Sagan, and Civil Liberties: A Beginner’s Guide. You can find a semi-complete list of my books on my Amazon.com author page. I served as About.com guide to civil liberties for 9 years, and received a second-place AAN AltWeekly Award in 2012 for my analysis of the Mississippi State Legislature.

I’ve also written scripts for Wisecrack. My video on the philosophy of the Joker was the third-ranked philosophy-related video on YouTube for 2016; other subjects I’ve covered include the theology of South Park, the implications of serial killer fandom, and how the Star Wars universe in general (and Darth Vader in particular) deals with death.

I hold a Ph.D. in religion and society from Edith Cowan University and an M.A. in humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills. My doctoral dissertation,  Normal Mysticism, is the first single-author volume-length study of Rabbi Max Kadushin’s work from a secular perspective. I’m currently working on a Master of Divinity online (expected 2022) from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine.

If I sound like somebody you’d like to hire, or you have a really engaging volunteer/pro bono project that you’d like me to consider, drop me a line.

Education

Degrees:

  • M.Div. student, St. Joseph’s College (Maine), expected 2022

  • Ph.D. in Religion and Society, Edith Cowan University, 2013

  • M.A. in Humanities, California State University—Dominguez Hills, 2000

  • B.A. in Liberal Arts (with concentrations in psychology and English-language literature), Excelsior College (formerly Regents College), 1996


Certificates:

  • EEO Investigator Certification, Art of Resolution, LL.C., 2017

  • Certificate in Paralegal Studies, Auburn University (via the Center for Legal Studies), 2017

  • Professional Certificate in Online Education (PCOE), University of Wisconsin—Madison, 2016

  • Professional Certificate in Grantwriting, San Diego State University, 2013


Other:

  • Additional coursework in counseling psychology (Mississippi College, 1997), theological studies (Spring Hill College, 1999-2000), and novel writing (University of British Columbia/EdX, 2016).

  • Various local nonprofit/activism-related training sessions and retreats.

Other Publications

Books (academic, trade nonfiction, general reference):

  • World History 101 (Adams Media/Simon & Schuster, 2017)

  • It’s Your World, So Change It: Using the Power of the Internet to Create Social Change (Que/Pearson, 2010)

  • Civil Liberties: A Beginner’s Guide (Oneworld, 2009)

  • Crime and Punishment in America [with David Wolcott] (Facts on File, 2008)

  • Conversations with Carl Sagan (University Press of Mississippi, 2006)

  • The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to the Bible (Que/Pearson, 2005)

  • Bears’ Guide to the Best Education Degrees by Distance Learning [with John Bear, Mariah Bear, and Thomas Nixon] (Ten Speed, 2001)

  • Get Your IT Degree and Get Ahead [with Mariah Bear and John Bear] (Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 2000)


Books (juvenile nonfiction, K-12 reference):

  • Hip Hop Revolution: Chance the Rapper (Enslow, 2019) [with Deirdre Head]

  • Hip Hop Revolution: Kanye West (Enslow, 2019) [with Deirdre Head]

  • Ruby Bridges and the Desegregation of American Schools (Abdo, 2019) [with Duchess Harris]

  • Stars of Hip Hop: Chance the Rapper (Enslow, 2019) [with Deirdre Head]

  • Stars of Hip Hop: Kanye West (Enslow, 2019) [with Deirdre Head]

  • The Scottsboro Boys (Abdo, 2019) [with Duchess Harris]

  • Air Commandos (Black Rabbit, 2017)

  • Green Berets (Black Rabbit, 2017)

  • Ancient Mesopotamia (Abdo, 2015)

  • Freedom of Religion (Facts on File, 2005)

  • The Future of the Internet (Greenhaven/Gale, 2005)

  • Is Torture Ever Justified? (Greenhaven/Gale, 2005)

  • Religion and Education (Greenhaven/Gale, 2005)

  • What is the State of Human Rights? (Greenhaven/Gale, 2005)

  • 1966 [with Carol Carwile-Head] (Greenhaven/Gale, 2004)

  • The Bill of Rights (Greenhaven/Gale, 2003)

  • Confederate Generals (Blackbirch/Gale, 2003)

  • Mysterious Places (Greenhaven/Gale, 2003)

  • Possessions and Exorcisms (Greenhaven/Gale, 2003)

  • Slaves (Blackbirch/Gale, 2003)

  • Union Generals (Blackbirch/Gale, 2003)

  • Women and Families (Blackbirch/Gale, 2003)


Scripts Produced:

  • “The Philosophy of Darth Vader” (Wisecrack, 2016)

  • “The Philosophy of the Joker” (Wisecrack, 2016)

  • “Is Zootopia Racist?” (Wisecrack, 2016)

  • “South Park and Religion” (Wisecrack, 2016)

  • “Why Do We Love Serial Killers?” (Wisecrack, 2016)

  • “Will VR Porn Replace Sex?” (Wisecrack, 2016)


Selected Article Contributions:

  • “What Chokwe Lumumba Taught Me” in Passing It On: Moving Stories of Activists, 1960-2000 (Archway, 2015)

  • “Future of Cancer” in The Encyclopedia of Cancer and Society, 2nd edition (SAGE, 2015)

  • “Ancient Thought,” “Medieval Thought,” and “Mississippi” in The Encyclopedia of World Poverty, 2nd edition (SAGE, 2014)

  • “Arkansas,” “Connecticut,” “District of Columbia,” “Louisiana,” and “Mississippi” in Chuck Stewart’s Proud Heritage: People, Issues, and Documents of the LGBT Experience (ABC-CLIO, 2014)

  • “Community Organizing” in The Encyclopedia of Human Services and Diversity (SAGE, 2014)

  • “Equal Opportunity Employment Commission” and “Knowledge Construction” in Cortes’ Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia (SAGE, 2013)

  • “Martin Luther King Jr. and Latinos” in Latino History and Culture: An Encyclopedia (Sharpe, 2010)


Miscellaneous Writing:

  • About.com Guide to Civil Liberties, 2006-2015

  • Contributing Columnist, Jackson Free Press (2007-2015)

  • Contributing Writer, Mysterious Universe (2014-2015)

  • Contributing Writer, CMUSE (2015)

  • Contributing Writer, Hopes&Fears (2016)

  • Contributing Writer, The Art Story Foundation (2016)

Projects

I’m currently working on Conversations with Jimmy Carter for the University Press of Mississippi, moving through my M.Div., and working on a book proposal for a project to be named later.

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

I’ve got a couple of long-form podcast conversations lined up over the next few months. If you’d like to interview me, hit me up; I’m always good for a quote.

Memberships

The Authors Guild; Knights of Peter Claver, Council 199

Tom Head

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