About

Hi! I’m Shawn. I write. I teach. I dig into my interiority. And, I work to get good things done.

I’m a blue collar professor. For most of the year, you can expect to see dirt under my fingernails. 

I’m also part of the Appalachian diaspora. My people ventured out of Hazard County Kentucky in the early decades of the twentieth century. We ended up scattered along the edges of Cincinnati. I grew up near-poor, poor and then near-poor again along the Ohio River. At one time or another, my people and I have been called white trash, hillbillies and river rats. My step-father went to jail when I was 15. Government issued peanut-butter and asking for food we could not afford from the up-the-street grocery store are part of my heritage. I was small-town fortunate though. I had an abundance of good people around me (neighbors, teachers and coaches). Indeed, my high school football coach secured scholarship money for me to play at his alma mater. As a first-generation college student, I struggled; but, over time, I ended up finding my way and studying under Nobel-Prize winning economist Douglass C. North for my PhD.

If I wasn’t a white, heterosexual, cis-gender man, it’s less likely that I would be in a position to share these words with you. Not impossible. Less likely. But I did. So, here I am. Sharing all of this with you was not easy. But, as you’ll learn, doing this and other things like it are part of the work. The necessary work of earning one’s self-possession – a prerequisite to changing the world. And, if given the chance, I would like to earn the honor of walking alongside you as you pursue your work.

Subscribe to one (or both) of my newsletters:

  • This is the Work – a monthly newsletter with questions, quotes, poems and more to help those working in the social good space develop a deep interiority and get things done. Subscribe here.
  • Halftime Speeches – a monthly email of encouragement from me to you. Because, there are days when we all need a gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) lightning bolt in the ass. Subscribe here.

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Get an email from me each time I post a new blog. Subscribe here.

Most recent blogs (see all)

Most popular blogs (see all)

Current Project (see all)

  • Rewild School: Our public education system is designed for domestication, for an industrialized age. The future demands that we return to our earlier ways of educating one another, ways that can only be found in our deep past: http://rewild.school/

Some of my Top 10 Lists:

What am I up to now?

See my Now page.

What I look like

They say sharing your photograph builds trust with visitors. So, see my self-centered sounding me page.

Wanna know more?

See my 5 minute version of me page.

Looking for the search bar?

Just click here. It’ll be at the top of the right sidebar. A bit inconvenient. I know. Sorry.

Wanna connect?

Email me at shumphre@umw.edu. I answer every email. You can also use my contact form.

Where can you find me on social media?

I have all the major channels; but, I really only use instagram.

Thanks for visiting! – shawn

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