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James MacNee

English/Humanities/Executive Functioning Support

James was born in St. Louis and raised in Southern California. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Redlands, where he focused on religious studies, creative writing, philosophy, and the history of American music. He then moved to Los Angeles to work at studios run by Guillermo del Toro and Guillermo Navarro. After this brief sojourn in Hollywood, he dedicated his life to higher education and left to pursue a Master’s degree at Harvard Divinity School. At Harvard, James focused on Buddhist studies as well as Western philosophy. Having earned his Master’s degree from Harvard, James then went on to the University of Virginia, where he is now, to earn his PhD studying Buddhist philosophy. During this time, he has taught in both religious studies and philosophy departments while also working as an academic copyeditor.

As a teacher, James emphasizes collaboration and critical thinking. In this, he works with students not just to retain information but practice and take note of the dynamic processes of understanding while struggling with difficult concepts, arguments, and problems. Teaching philosophy especially, James always emphasizes clarity and argument structure in the writing of his students. This extends to his professional career as an academic copyeditor. James has edited for academic journals (Harvard Theological Review and Journal of Contemplative Studies) as well as worked as a freelance editor where he has collaborated with researchers to get both monographs and articles published by academic presses.

Today, James works to finish his dissertation at the University of Virginia while also teaching university classes as a lecturer. He is an expert in South Asian and Tibetan philosophy, focusing on philosophy of mind and of language. James reads in Sanskrit, Pāli, and Tibetan to pursue these research interests. When not engaged as a researcher, teacher, or editor, he enjoys reading fantasy books, going on hikes, and playing basketball.

James MacNee
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