P1080535I am a Professor of English at LMU, where I teach courses in literary theory and interdisciplinary topics like Nothing, Wonder, Time, and Chaos.  My research interests include time, geo-aesthetics and -philosophy, stones and gardens, and constraint-based writing. I co-edit SubStance (theory/lit journal) and maintain a garden/blog The Petriverse of Pierre Jardin.

Recent Work

Measuring A Stone’s Time Presentation for Time and Measure, triennial conference of the International Society for the Study, Yamaguchi, Japan, July 2-7, 2023. Explores different ways to understand the “time” of a 2-billion year old stone, including geology, thought experiments, and contemplative practices.

A delight to collaborate with long-time, brilliant colleague on “Gail Wronsky Re-Written in Stone: Geo-Poetic Translations.” Exhibition of stone displays expressing selected lines from Gail’s poems on view in Hannon Library, LMU, through July 26, 2023. Presentation of Gail reading lines and Paul discussing stone displays is available here.

Uplifting Tales and Eroded Histories Exhibition with Richard Turner and Michael Davis on view at Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA,  January 21 – March 25, 2023, including the series Stones on Stools.

Contemporary Viewing Stone Display book publication: co-authored with Richard Turner and Thomas P. Elias, this book provides a comprehensive history of Chinese and Japanese stone appreciation, propounds an eco-philosophy of viewing stones, and proposes aesthetic principles for creating displays. Includes gallery of 68 viewing stone displays by connoisseurs from around the world.

Related presentation: “Absorbing Stone(s): Exploring Chinese Lithophilia,” a talk delivered to LMU China Studies Forum–examines Chinese stone appreciation from a contemporary geo-poetic perspective.

The culmination of a decade of work creating, photographing, and writing about a rock garden, The Petriverse of Pierre Jardin is an open-access work of experimental theory published in the new series SubStance@Work. A 25-minute presentation of the project can be viewed here.

Rock Records, a special issue of SubStance, includes my essay “Stoned Thinking” as well as open access digital content.  Read my essay: Harris Stoned Thinking

I presented “Stone is the New Green,” a project including stone installations at the National Gallery of Denmark and a talk at the University of Copenhagen. Stone is the New Green

A collaborative reading with author David Mitchell at a conference on his work at University of St. Andrews; see the video here. This resulted in publishing “In the Labyrinth of Slow Time: “A Perturbation in the Deep Stream” (David Mitchell, co-author) and “A Perambulation in the Deep Stream”.” In C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century Writings (peer-reviewed open access journal of the Open Library of Humanities).

For the award-winning LMU Magazine‘s feature on The Seven Deadly Sins, I contributed this piece on Greed (it is a “monovocalism,” meaning only one vowel is used).