From its humble beginnings on a Frognet server in the hills of Athens, Ohio in the mid 1990’s, this site has gone through many iterations as a place for my writings and ideas.
The original name for this site was The Adventures of Horatio, which was the name for a childhood animal friend of mine (a hamster). After moving to New York, I changed the name to The New Adventures of Horatio Bootblack, a name inspired by the book Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Jr., which tells the story of a young homeless bootblack living on the streets of New York in the late 1800’s. (For you history buffs, Alger originally wrote the story in 1867 as a serialized publication for Student and Schoolmaster.)
I’ve never been a 14-year-old homeless bootblack living on the streets of NYC. But for some reason the story stuck with me, and since I also happened to have a long-standing affinity with the name Horatio, it seemed like divine inspiration and I stuck with the name Horatio and added the bootblack label.
Timed passes, and at some point I decided that although I loved the idea of The Adventures of Horatio it really didn’t have much to do with my current life. As I have slowly moved more into academic work and professional research, I wanted this site to show that evolution of my work as well. So while I will never let go of Horatio, for now at least, the name will go back into the sorting hat for future projects.
I’ve been a storyteller all my life, something I credit to my late grandfather and namesake, Guy Milton Crews. As a child he would send my brother and I letters that combined fabulous adventures with cut-out animal photos from magazines or other clip-art to help illustrate his stories. Even as a young “whippersnapper” I was writing, and I started illustrating my own short stories by 6th grade. Whether it is poetry, short fiction or academic analysis, I still have a love of storytelling. This site honors that tradition, merging the best of multimedia, digital storytelling and creative writing.
I’m currently completing a PhD dissertation in global and comparative politics at The New School for Social Research in NYC. My work looks at the intersections of social and environmental justice movements in the Andes and Himalayas through the lens of the Anthropocene, with special attention on the issues of land, law and Indigenous rights. You can find this research on my Academia.edu profile.
I have taught at The New School and worked as an Adjunct Professor in Political Science at Fordham University in the South Bronx, where I taught Intro to Politics, Environmental Politics and Race and Ethnicity courses. You can find copies of these and other syllabus on my teaching page here. Currently I work at the India China Institute, where I coordinate several of our international programs bringing together scholars from India, China and the US, with special focus on issues of sacred landscapes, religion and ecology, and providing mentoring and academic support to emerging scholars.
When I’m not busy writing or teaching I’m usually involved with campus or community organizing, and in the past served as a co-chair for the university Social Justice Committee, where I tried to help advance social justice organizing on campus, and as a student representative on our university investment advisory committee, known as the ACIR, which helped to move the university investment portfolio out of socially and environmentally harmful investments like fossil fuels and the defense industry.
I also publish my work on various other websites. You can read some of my articles in the New School Free Press here. You can find more of my writings on Public Seminar, run by The New School for Social Research, and I am an official Contributing Scholar for the State of Formation website, which focuses on issues of religion and society. I also produce some occasional multimedia side-projects with rv media. You can see some of those projects–audio, video and otherwise–on their YouTube channel.