About Sam Rocha

I’m an academic, author, and musician. My interests involve and revolve — and evolve — around philosophy, music, and religion. In philosophy, my work is in the philosophy of education as it intersects with the life and thought of William James, an odd brand of Augustinian personalism, “folk phenomenology,” and Latin/American philosophy. In music, I sing and play guitar, performing blues, soul, Latin jazz, and folk music (especially Mexican folk music). In religion, I write and speak about Catholicism and religious culture and experience. These three main interests intersect frequently, constantly. Most importantly, I am a husband and a father: my wife and I have two young boys, Tomas and Gabriel, and a precious daughter, Sofia.


Most of my academic work is housed in a field called “philosophy of education.” I did my undergraduate work (in philosophy) at Franciscan University of Steubenville, a masters (in education) at the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN), and received another masters and my Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in philosophy of education. For two years I was the Owen Duston Visiting Professor in the philosophy department and teacher education program at Wabash College and for two more years I was an assistant professor in the educational foundations and research graduate program at the University of North Dakota. I am presently part of the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, as an assistant professor of philosophy of education in the educational studies department. I’m also the president of the Society for the Philosophical Study of Education. (Click here to view and/or download my CV.)

Almost all my academic articles, essays, and reviews can be found online, and most of them for free. I also try to write more than the usual academic fare, including all my writing at this site and contributions to Contending Modernities, a blog at the Kroc Institute of the University of Notre Dame, First Things, Ethika Politika, and a few others. (I also blogged at Vox Nova for three years; you can find all of that here.) I’ve published three books thus far, both can be found at the publications page — including my recently published, A Primer for Philosophy and Education (with an updated, second edition to be published by Wipf and Stock soon) and have three more books forthcoming: Liturgy as Mystagogy: An Introduction to a Curriculum of Life (press pending), Folk Phenomenology: Education, Study, and the Human Person (Atropos Press), and Abortion Without Politics (Patheos Press).


I began playing guitar at the age of 5, and began singing soon thereafter. My musical influences range from folk, Latin, funk, soul, hip-hop, and jazz, but my roots are in church music and the Mexican folk tradition. Over the past ten years, I’ve performed with various ensembles playing everything from gospel and contemporary Christian music, blues, pop, neo-soul/nu jazz, Latin folk, and Latin jazz. I’ve played with the likes of Othello Molineaux, Eddie Bayard, Eddy Martinez, Pharez Whitted and I’ve been on bills including The Roots, Floetry, Joe Lovano (Us Five), and more at the Charleston Wine and Jazz Festival, Parkersburg Multicultural Festival, Columbus Latino Festival, Columbus Jazz Festival, Vonn Jazz Lounge (Columbus, OH), Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago, IL), Twins Jazz (Washington DC), Baltimore Museum of Art, Cafe El Sol (Milwaukee, WI), Nighttown (Cleveland, OH), Hartford Jazz Society, First Night (Knoxville, TN), Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies (Crawfordville, IN), The Empire Arts Center (Grand Forks, ND), North Dakota Museum of Art (Grand Forks, ND) and more.

I released an EP, Freedom for Love, in 2o11; my LP, Late to Love, was released on August 28th, by Wiseblood Records.

I frequently give talks, seminars, and keynotes at schools, churches, and conferences. This past year I’ve spoken at St. Williams Catholic Church, the University of British Columbia, the American Philosophical Association, the Philosophy of Education Society, and the American Education Research Association.

I do talks and music gigs as I can. I am especially looking to book shows in the Pacific Northwest, for this winter and summer. Feel free to contact me.


I don’t have one. Do just about anything you like, provided that you’re a person and not a spambot. I tend to see outrageous or abusive or even illegal comments as exercises in self-humiliation. They often show what cannot quite be said. Plus, by rejecting the artificial prescriptions of rules and protocol, more natural ones will be allowed to operate. Anarchy is just another form of social order. (No, I’m not an anarchist, at least not on most days.) If something arises with enough urgency that merits something like a “policy” then I suppose I’ll make one up. But I am much more inclined to delete any problems just as arbitrarily as I might make up a policy, appealing to nothing other than what seems to follow from the common-law, implicit order of things around here and elsewhere.

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!