Rasmus Rahbek Simonsen
My name is Rasmus, and I am a lecturer of media and communication theory.
In 2013, I completed my doctorate in American literature, but since then I’ve taken up a number of different intellectual pursuits. In addition to writing on canonical American authors, like Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne, I have explored topics related to queer theory, food studies, and fashion design.
I have always been interested in outsider perspectives on culture and society, as it is on the margins that the most creative forces tend to congregate. Growing up, I never felt like I belonged, and so I started exploring alternative worlds in books and in art early on. After school each day, I would spend hours drawing comic books, but I gave up the dream of becoming an illustrator when I was turned down for an internship at age 15(!). Not surprisingly, I tend to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, and perfectionism is one of my main flaws (or strengths, depending on your point of view). When I gave up drawing, I turned my attention to books more seriously, but I never lost my interest in aesthetics, and at university I found a way to combine material forms, like architecture and painting, with literature and philosophy.
I became vegan at 19, and the thinking behind veganism is central to my ethics. The principle of “do no harm” is conceptually simple, but very hard to live up to, especially in areas such as the fashion industry, which I have become increasingly involved in over the last few years.
I continue to publish in academic journals and books (you can find some of my writings here), but writing for The Immaterialist is a great opportunity for me to explore new ideas related to design and ethics in a more immediate and personal way.