D.L. Pughe is a writer and artist currently living in Berkeley, CA.
MIT Press has published her essays in The New Earth Reader, and Writings on Water, and Writings on Air. “Letter from the Far Territories” was included in When Pain Strikes, a volume in the University of Minnesota Press Theory Out of Bounds Series, and an essay on Bill Viola and William James is in the catalogue by Larry Rinder for the exhibition Searchlight: Consciousness at the Millennium from Thames and Hudson. NEST, a New York based magazine that featured literary aspects of habitat, published several episodes from A Philosophy of Clean, a series of essays on cleaning that was originally funded by the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. Her essays, including Being In Dog Time about shelter dogs has been published in BARK magazine, along with a look at how Animal Studies is becoming legitimized on campuses around the world, Studying The Dog. Over the years, poems and several prose pieces have appeared in Schlaflos, The Trumpeter Journal of Ecophilosophy, and the Five Finger Review. Her long essay on poverty in the Midwest and USA, When Luck Grows Hard: Real Life in the Fiction Capital of America, was part of the web-based Electoral College Project. A recent essay about the writing of Maeve Brennan and photography of Vivian Maier, Two Poets of the Street, was published in Serpentine Magazine. Her essay on The Empathy of Edith Stein is from a longer book The Space Between Us: Empathy and Understanding, which traces the history of empathy as an idea and then in the works of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Edith Stein in Freiburg and Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Emmanuel Levinas in Paris. Other published works on philosophy include Spinozahuis (originally in NEST magazine) about Spinoza’s philosophy and life in Rijnsburg and The Hague, and The Lost Notebook of Aqueous Perspective, about Leonardo da Vinci’s fascination with water and its effects (published by MIT Press in Writings on Water). Shortly after 9-11, she wrote this essay Wind and Breath (published by MIT Press in Writings on Air). She is currently working on a long essay about Ellen Warburg and other women of Hamburg during the Second World War, and a work of fiction titled A Different Acquaintance. With Dr. Raquel Baker she is editing a book called Hide Aways: Solitary Refuges of Childhood, which began after this post about Leaf Sanctaries. With Jon Winet, she co-directs Alternating Currents, which produces events in the East Bay of San Francisco. This recent research on Eva Hesse in Hamburg was posted in February 2023.
For 12 years prior to moving to Iowa, Pughe was Director of Exhibitions for The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the de Young Museum and California Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum) where she helped amazing teams produce major exhibitions along with small scholarly shows and manage the permanent collection galleries. She also worked for 7 years at The Lawrence Hall of Sciences, a children’s museum and learning center that is part of the University of California at Berkeley.
Pughe has built displays and miniature tableaus for the Iowa City Library, University of Iowa Hospitals, and the Imagination Station. She built a collaborative project: a Miniature Natural History Museum and Laboratory with Diorama Divas: Angela Zirbes, Emily Buck, Xin Xu, and Stella Schultz. A novel she wrote about the natural world and a group of young women who are similarly making a miniature museum is called The Country Where I Solved My Discontent.
This is awesome!